How do we standardize the assessment questions and algorithms in marine biological valuation?
This article stems from discussions held during a workshop on marine biological valuation, held from 6 to 8 December 2006 at Ghent (Belgium). The workshop was a joint venture of the EU CA ENCORA (http://www.encora.org) and the EU NoE MARBEF (http://www.marbef.org). Both Theme 7 within ENCORA and Theme 3 within MARBEF deal with marine/coastal biological valuation and the workshop aimed to reach a consensus on this topic. It sets out some of the questions that need to be considered.
Experts on each ecosystem component (e.g. fish, birds, benthos,…) from different study areas should come up with a protocol per component.
Due to large variations in the available data in the study areas, the algorithms cannot be standardized but should be designed for each study area separately.
During a valuation of an area, within a component, all parts should be addressed with the same protocol.
The minimum number of assessment questions, which are needed for a reliable valuation, can not be determined.
These paragraphs reflect the main discussion outcomes of the ENCORA Theme 7-MARBEF Theme 3 workshop on marine biological valuation (6-8 December 2006, Gent, (Belgium). http://www.marbef.org/documents/Theme3/GhentWS/report.pdf)