The Challenge

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive deals with the implementation of an ecosystem approach to marine environmental management, and the Habitats Directive contributes to the protection of representative habitats. Human activities may have a severe impact on marine ecosystems. Therefore it is important that conduct and management of such activities (including fisheries, dredging etc.) are carried out in a way that supports the objectives of the Marine Strategy and the Habitat Directive. The challenge of the ODEMM project was to investigate and quantitatively evaluate, specify and propose options and actions for a gradual transition from the current fragmented management of these activities (e.g. fish stock based regime for fisheries management) to a mature integrated management, including strategies for the implementation of the ecosystem approach at regional level, reconciling short-term economic objectives with long-term ecosystem sustainability objectives.

Project Objectives

The overall aim of the ODEMM project was to develop a set of fully-costed ecosystem management options that would deliver the objectives of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive, the European Commission Blue Book and the Guidelines for the Integrated Approach to Maritime Policy. The key objective was to produce scientifically-based operational procedures that allow for a step by step transition from the current fragmented system to fully integrated management.

Advisory Committee

In order to ensure key outputs of the project were both relevant and applicable to meet the objectives of the project an Advisory Committee of stakeholders from governance and regulatory constituencies steered the ODEMM project. The role of the Committee was to give guidance and advice to the ODEMM project to ensure its research is directly relevant to policy makers, industry groups, citizen groups, managers and other stakeholders.

The following members formed the Advisory Committee:

  • Eva Gelabert 
  • David VanderZwaag
  • Virginie Hart
  • John Steele – Unfortunately, during the final year of the ODEMM project Dr John Steele passed away, shortly before his 87th birthday. We are ever grateful to him for the considerable intellectual and practical input he made at all stages of his interaction with the project, and in particular that he felt interested enough to stay engaged with our work at this late stage in his life.
  • Anastasius Eleftheriou
  • Valeria Abaza