This paper analyses the 2016 environmental benchmark performance of the port sector, based on a wide representation of EcoPorts members. This is the fifth time that this study has been conducted as an initiative of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO). The data and results are derived from the Self-Diagnosis Method (SDM), a concise checklist against which port managers can self-assess the environmental management of their port in relation to the performance of the EcoPorts membership. The SDM tool was developed in the framework of the ECOPORTS project (2002–2005) and it is managed by ESPO. A total number of 91 ports from 20 different European Maritime States contributed to this evaluation. The main results are that air quality remains as the top environmental priority of the respondent ports, followed by energy consumption and noise.
In terms of environmental management, the study confirms that key components are commonly implemented in the majority of European ports. 94% of contributing ports have a designated environmental manager, 92% own an environmental policy and 82% implement an environmental monitoring program. Waste is identified as the most monitored issue in ports (80%), followed by energy consumption (73%) and water quality (70%)
Crise, A.; Kaberi, H.; Ruiz, J.; Zatsepin, A.; Arashkevich, E.; Giani, M.; Jimenez, J.A. Marine pollution bulletin Vol. 95, num. 1, p. 28-39 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.03.024 Data de publicació: 2015-06 Article en revista
PERSEUS project aims to identify the most relevant pressures exerted on the ecosystems of the Southern European Seas (SES), highlighting knowledge and data gaps that endanger the achievement of SES Good Environmental Status (GES) as mandated by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). A complementary approach has been adopted, by a meta-analysis of existing literature on pressure/impact/knowledge gaps summarized in tables related to the MSFD descriptors, discriminating open waters from coastal areas. A comparative assessment of the Initial Assessments (IAs) for five SES countries has been also independently performed. The comparison between meta-analysis results and IAs shows similarities for coastal areas only. Major knowledge gaps have been detected for the biodiversity, marine food web, marine litter and underwater noise descriptors. The meta-analysis also allowed the identification of additional research themes targeting research topics that are requested to the achievement of GES.
We used modelling and field approaches to assess the influence of beach nourishment on a relatively distant Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadow in the NW Mediterranean. Both sediment transport models and in situ observations showed that, two years after the nourishment and under wave climates prevalent during the study period, sediment movement was restricted to shallow waters (<7 m), above meadow shallow limit. The only significant impact on seagrass meadows during this period was an increase in fine sediments, associated with vertical rhizome growth rates 1.5-1.7 times higher than normal. However, running the model with data of wave climate over several decades indicates that strong storms able to transfer these sediments much deeper, potentially burying meadows, occur with a return period of about 25 years. Taken together, our results suggest that beach nourishment could result in significant sub-lethal and lethal consequences for seagrasses that may go unnoticed with short-term evaluations. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mestres, M.; Sierra, J.P.; Mösso, C.; Sanchez-Arcilla, A.; Hernaez, M.; Morales, J. Marine pollution bulletin Vol. 79, num. 1-2, p. 225-235 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.12.009 Data de publicació: 2014-02-15 Article en revista
Marine dredging operations are not uncommon in coastal waters since they are necessary for several beneficial uses, such as harbour maintenance, beach nourishment or removal/capping of pollutants, amongst others. They also constitute a significant risk for the environment, changing its physical, chemical and biological characteristics, as evidenced by many authors. In this study, two numerical models are used to simulate the dispersion pattern of fine suspended sediment spilled from a dredge barge, considering different hydrodynamic scenarios, particle sizes and dredging tracks in a mesotidal environment. The results show that, in this particular case, the currents (largely induced by the tide) are the main responsible for the final disposition of the settled particles, being the other variables of secondary importance. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
In this paper an identification and selection of Environmental Performance Indicators (EPIs) in port areas has been conducted. A comprehensive inventory of existing EPIs in use in the seaport sector has been identified for monitoring performance of operational (e.g. dust, noise, dredging, and waste), managerial (e.g. certification, compliance, and complaints) and environmental condition (e.g. air, water, sediment and ecosystems). These indicators have been filtered against specific criteria and have been assessed and evaluated by port stakeholders in order to obtain a final set of indicators suitable to be implemented at EU level. A user friendly tool has been developed specifically to assist port authorities in calculating and reporting the proposed indicators. This study has drawn on major research projects to blend academic research with input from marine professionals in order to identify, select, evaluate and validate EPIs that are acceptable and feasible to the sector, and practicable in their application and implementation.
Marine bivalves such as oysters are widely used as bioindicators to monitor marine coastal pollution. This study aimed to use B-esterase activity responses in oysters (Crassostrea gigas) cultured in Ebro Delta bays to monitor environmental effects of pesticides. The B esterases investigated were acetylcholinesterase, propionylcholinesterase, and carboxylesterase and their activities were measured in adductor muscle and gills from oysters transplanted in Ebro Delta bays where the are traditionally grown. Enzyme activities were related with physico-chemical parameters and pesticide levels measured in water. Cholinesterase activities measured in gills were unaffected across sites and periods. Conversely, carboxylesterase activities in oyster gills varied across periods and sites and were negatively correlated with residue levels of organophoshporous and carbamate pesticides in water. Therefore, inhibition of carboxylesterase activities can be considered a good indicator of exposure to anti-cholinergic pesticides in oysters
Andre, M.; Van Der Schaar, M.; Zaugg, S.A.; Houegnigan, L.; Sanchez, A.M.; Castell, J. Marine pollution bulletin num. 63, p. 18-26 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.04.038 Data de publicació: 2011 Article en revista
The development and broad use of passive acoustic monitoring techniques have the potential to help assessing the large-scale influence of artificial noise on marine organisms and ecosystems. Deep-sea
observatories have the potential to play a key role in understanding these recent acoustic changes. LIDO(Listening to the Deep Ocean Environment) is an international project that is allowing the real-time longterm monitoring of marine ambient noise as well as marine mammal sounds at cabled and standalone observatories. Here, we present the overall development of the project and the use of passive acoustic
monitoring (PAM) techniques to provide the scientific community with real-time data at large spatial and temporal scales. Special attention is given to the extraction and identification of high frequency cetacean
echolocation signals given the relevance of detecting target species, e.g. beaked whales, in mitigation processes, e.g. during military exercises.
The proximity of commercial harbours to residential areas and the growing environmental awareness of society have led most port authorities to include environmental management within their administration plan. Regarding water quality, it is necessary to have the capacity and tools to deal with contamination
episodes that may damage marine ecosystems and human health, but also affect the normal functioning of harbours. This paper presents a description of the main pollutant sources in Tarragona Harbour (Spain), and a numerical analysis of several pollution episodes based on the Port Authority’s actual environmental concerns. The results show that pollution generated inside the harbour tends to remain confined within
the port, whereas it is very likely that oil spills from a nearby monobuoy may affect the neighbouring beaches. The present combination of numerical models proves itself a useful tool to assess the environmental risk associated to harbour activities and potential pollution spills.
CABALLERO, A.; Espino, M.; Sagarminaga, Y.; Ferrer, L.; Uriarte, A.; Gonzalez, M. Marine pollution bulletin Vol. 56, num. 3, p. 475-482 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2007.11.005 Data de publicació: 2008-03 Article en revista
A main conclusion following the oil spill from the Prestige tanker was that improvements in ocean circulation models were necessary; this was in order to predict, more accurately, the trajectories followed by the oil slicks and hence assist in fight against oil pollution operations. In this contribution, the results of the validation of a semi-empirical ocean circulation model, parameterised for the Bay of Biscay and forced with operational oceano-meteorological remote sensing observations, are shown. The model results have been validated with observations from drifting buoys, deployed in the Bay of Biscay during the crisis.
The results show that the model explains a relatively large percentage of the current variability. The comparisons between the real and the estimated drifter trajectories indicate that for 3, 5 and 7 day-long trajectories, the drifter position is estimated with errors of approximately 23, 35 and 46 km, respectively. The model reproduces relatively well the trajectory followed by the drifter with the shortest period (23 days)