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Man's use of the European maritime space is developing and becoming more diversified. This is generating new change mechanisms in the marine ecosystem, linked to anthropogenic activities, which need to be understood and quantified, as does the impact of these changes on the functioning of the ecosystem and the resulting socio-economic consequences.
The present emerging pressures are manifold and interact (e.g., exploitation of living and mineral resources, maritime transport, energy production, within a context of environmental change. Anticipating the future effects of these pressures and the measures/adaptations with an aim to mitigating them (e.g., new fishing technologies/strategies) will provide a scientific basis which is essential for the implementation of the European maritime strategy currently being drawn up.
Even if a great deal of research work has been carried out at the same time, in order to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of specific compartments of the marine ecosystems impacted by a type of pressure factor, there are few studies that combine different areas of research in a multi-disciplinary and operational framework and which would allow users and marine environment managers to assess the benefits of a multi-sector regulation for the use of the maritime area.

CHANGEMAN will provide an essential contribution by developing multi-disciplinary research actions which will add greatly to the scientific knowledge required for policies and multi-sectorial regulations. CHANGEMAN will supply data, alternative fishing techniques, innovative models, indicators and other decision-making tools, to marine environment users. In order to do this, the CHANGEMAN project team will use a combination of sectorial analyses, data summaries, statistical analyses, in situ experimentations and ecosystem models (including human activities).
The approach proposed in CHANGEMAN will be applied to the Channel. This region has been chosen as a case study as, at the same time, it brings together a rich ecosystem (nursery, reproduction and/or migration zone for many commercial species of fish, unique benthic community), and intensive and varied human activities (e.g., fishing, sand and aggregate quarrying, maritime traffic, aquaculture, tourism, within a context of climate change). The complex nature of the ecosystem in the Channel and the many interactions between the sectors of activity operating in its maritime area requires a multisectoral, multi-disciplinary and partnership approach that will enable the future effects of anthropogenic activities on this ecosystem to be anticipated . This is the challenge that the CHANGEMAN team is proposing to take up.

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This project was labelised the AQUIMER Pole of Competitiveness on the 14th May, 2010.


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