The assessment process
This summary report provides policy makers and the wider public with a condensed overview of current knowledge on trends in pressures and impacts and the quality status of the North-East Atlantic and its Regions Figure 1.1. It is backed up by a series of thematic assessment reports Bibliography prepared under the OSPAR Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme. These set out the scientific evidence for this summary report and provide more detailed information for the interested reader. The assessment reports were prepared in order to deliver regional assessments, based, where possible, on collective monitoring and data collection undertaken by OSPAR countries, and on scientific literature relevant to the development of conclusions at the regional scale. This summary report also draws on information from other sources including the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and its expert groups, and organisations within the European Union, for example Eurostat and the European Environment Agency. Together, this summary report and the thematic assessments form the QSR 2010. All levels of information are interactively accessible to the reader in this electronic version of the QSR.
The QSR 2010 summary report is structured such that Chapters 4 to 10 report progress on OSPAR’s five thematic Strategies for addressing the main threats within the North-East Atlantic (the Eutrophication Strategy, the Hazardous Substances Strategy, the Radioactive Substances Strategy, the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Strategy and the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Strategy). This information is set within the context of the socio-economic, physical and biological features of the North-East Atlantic (Chapter 2) and a changing ocean climate (Chapter 3). Chapter 11 reports on the progress made in applying tools to support the ecosystem approach to management of the North-East Atlantic, including ecological quality objectives and methodologies to assess ecosystem health. Chapter 12 brings together the findings of the preceding chapters in a qualitative summary for each OSPAR Region. These summaries describe the quality status and the delivery of OSPAR Strategies as well as the main pressures within these Regions and how these are expected to develop over the next decade. This provides the basis for the priorities for action identified for each Region. The Key Findings presented at the beginning of this summary report are intended to provide policy makers with a concise overview of the progress made, the main issues of concern and the need for action identified by the QSR 2010.