Improving the implementation of marine monitoring in the northeast Atlantic
Marine monitoring in the northeast Atlantic is delivered within identifiable monitoring themes, established through time and defined by the geographical area and policy drivers they serve, the sampling methodologies they use, their assessment methodologies, their funding and governance structures and the people or organisations involved in their implementation. Within a monitoring theme, essential components for effective monitoring are governance, strategy and work plan, sampling protocols, quality assurance, and data and assessment structures. This simple framework is used to analyse two monitoring theme case studies; national ecosystem health monitoring, and regional fish stock monitoring. Such essential component analyses, within marine monitoring themes, can help improve monitoring implementation by identifying gaps and overlaps. Once monitoring themes are recognised, explicitly defined and streamlined, travel towards integrated monitoring may be made easier as the current lack of clarity in thematic marine monitoring implementation is one barrier to integration at both national and regional scales.
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