Role of benthic indicators in regulating human activities at sea

Hubert Rees, Sian Boyd, Michaela Schratzberger, Linsay Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Presently, a global consensus is emerging on the need for dependable performance and quality indicators within an ecosystem management framework. For the (non-fisheries) biological resource this represents a greater challenge than hitherto, since the requirement is finding increasing expression in environmental legislation. This paper reviews a variety of issues relating to indicator utility, and provides an illustration of one approach to compliance-testing in UK waters employing properties of benthic communities. The driving force for indicator development has a strong international and aspirational flavour but the operational perspective derives mainly from smaller-scale applications, and is generally more cautionary. While developments at either ends of this spectrum are to a degree linked, there is a need for improved interaction between policy-makers and practitioners to promote the effective implementation of indicator schemes for environmental quality assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-508
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

Cite this