AZTI Press release: The integrated assessment of marine status is the main topic of a summer school organized by AZTI

Within the context of the World Oceans Day, the Aquarium of San Sebastián hosts sessions on 9th and 11th

The integrated assessment of marine status is the main topic of a summer school organized by AZTI
  • International experts will show the most innovative tools to assess the marine status
  • The new research focus integrates all variables, from human activities to all the components of the marine ecosystem
  • The course ‘DEVOTES-Euromarine’ is part of the European Project DEVOTES, which seeks to assess the status of the oceans, implementing the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive


summer school announcement DEVOTES(San Sebastián, Spain, 8th June 2015) Sharing knowledge about the best methods to assess the status of the marine environment is the objective of the ‘DEVOTES-Euromarine’ summer school, which AZTI has organized between 9th and 11th June at the Aquarium of San Sebastián (Spain). The course is entitled ‘Integrative assessment of marine systems: the Ecosystem Approach in practice’. This integrative view takes into account all human activities, together with all the ecosystem components, when managing seas and assessing their status. The course will highlight the need of a healthy ocean for a healthy planet, an idea of the United Nations to be disseminated across the World today, 8th of June, during the World Oceans Day.

The integrated assessment constitutes an innovative view in the study and management of the marine environment. Until now, this management has been done in a sectorial way, by legislation on fishing, discharges, recreational activities, etc., but it lacked of a global view. This new approach of working needs to look at the whole ecosystem, including human activities and ecosystem components –from microbes to sea mammals, going through plankton and fishes. This integrative view is known as ecosystem-based management, and, to undertake it, it is necessary to develop new tools to assess marine status.

‘DEVOTES-Euromarine’ will present innovative methods of global assessment, by international experts coordinated by the Director of the School, Angel Borja, PhD in Biology, from AZTI, and the researchers Samuli Korpinen and Anna-Stiina Heiskanen, from the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The experts will explain the relationships between the integrated assessment and the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which develops, for the first time, an approach to manage marine waters in an ecosystem-based way. In addition, other approaches to assess the marine status, in different parts of the World, such as USA or the Baltic Sea, will be presented by the 11 professors.

The biologist Angel Borja said that “human activities at sea, such as shipping, fishing, tourism or aquatic recreation, are increasing, and this can produce pressures in marine ecosystems”. Hence, “it is necessary –Borja added- to assess the status in an integrative way, minimizing the pressures, and allowing human activities in a sustainable way, without producing harm to the marine ecosystems”.

The summer school is part of the FP7 European Project DEVOTES, coordinated by AZTI, with 23 partners. The objective of the project is to contribute to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The project is developing indicators and methods to monitor and assess marine waters, to determine the current status of European seas. Another objective is the dissemination of the results; hence, AZTI organizes each year a summer school with different topics.

This ‘DEVOTES-Euromarine’ summer school has a target audience PhD and postdoc students, but also marine researchers and stakeholders working in the marine assessment and management. There are over 80 registered attendees, from all over the world, e.g. China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Germany, Turkey, Morocco or Chile, a total of 22 countries.

AZTI, marine and food innovation
AZTI is a technological centre, expert in marine and food innovation, with a trajectory over 30 years, and a presence in over 45 countries. It has a staff of more than 230 experts, giving shape to the ideas that, after transformed into products and services, generate business initiatives, recovering and preserving natural resources.
AZTI undertakes strategic and applied research, in an international context, allied with Tecnalia Corporation, providing integral and innovative solutions to their clients. Transforming science into value, and creating wealth for the present and future society, is the AZTI’s hallmark.

For additional information
Pablo Melchor – MBN Comunicación


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