Structure and dynamics of the North Sea benthos
The ICES Study Group on the North Sea Benthos Project 2000 undertook to integrate recent (1999–2002) macrobenthic infaunal and environmental data from various national sources. The main aim was to compare the outcome with that of the ICES North Sea Benthos Survey conducted in 1986, to identify any significant changes and their likely causes. In the process, the exercise yielded valuable lessons for the conduct of international collaborative programmes, as well as insights into the utility of a range of interpretational tools. These are timely in view of increasing requirements for periodic, sea-wide assessments of quality status to meet international obligations, such as those under OSPAR, ICES, HELCOM, and EU auspices for European waters.