Case study: Management of seagrassbeds in the Gulf of Morbihan
During the Interreg VALMER project, we tested how an ecosystem services assessment could support effective and informed management of seagrass beds in the Gulf of Morbihan, France. Seagrass beds are supposedly among the most studied coastal ecosystems. The Gulf of Morbihan seagrass beds are the 2nd largest in France (metropolitan), however recent mapping of the extent of the seagrass beds was not available, as well as the condition of the beds. In particular, the potential impacts of human activities like moorings, oyster farming or shell seeking has little been assessed.
Faced with practical management issues in an area with numerous marine and coastal activities, the existing knowledge was not sufficient for management decisions. Knowledge acquired and developed while answering a specific question might not be adapted to inform a different issue.
To answer the questions raised by the project, 30 scientists from all over France were invited to share their knowledge about seagrass. The core team was careful to invite to this focus group a number of environmental managers and state officers to keep the scientific discussion centered on management issues.
Six other focus group meetings were held with each of the main activities interacting with the seagrass beds.
Photo: © D. Lédan / SIAGM