The CHARM project aims to develop an atlas as a “toolbox” for decision-making and planning that can provide aid for sound governance and sustainable management of the English Channel marine resources.
Study area considered in the CHARM II project (© GEOPORTAIL, 2007).
The research institutions working on this programme were:
- Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) at Canterbury;
- The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) at Lowestoft;
- The Kent University (KENT) at Canterbury;
- The Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) at Boulogne-sur-mer and Port-en-Bessin (as well as Dinard);
- The Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille (USTL) at Wimereux;
- The Université du Littoral-Côte d’Opale (ULCO) at Boulogne-sur-mer.
So why such a project? Firstly the aims have risen from a recognition that the narrow channel of water separating England from France is an area of intense use, which itself arises from the array of resources that are concentrated into its relatively small area. The eastern Channel, including the Dover Strait, is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes comprising of hundreds of vessels moving through to connect the main ports of North-West Europe to the rest of the world. Moving at right angles across these shipping lanes is a large fleet of ferries continuously conveying vehicles, freight and passengers between France and United Kingdom.
Diverse and abundant marine living resources also make this maritime sector economically important for local and international fisheries who are targeting many fish, crustacean and mollusc species threatened by over-exploitation and environmental change. Further, their spawning and nursery areas, and migration routes can be affected by gravel and sand extraction projects, development of offshore wind farms, installation of submarine cables, pollution, etc. It is hence essential that the scientific community provides all the necessary knowledge to decision-makers so as to best manage and exploit these living resources. We make no secret of the fact that it is the biological resources that are at the core of the CHARM project because biodiversity conservation can provide a good indicator of future progress towards total resource sustainability.
The CHARM II Atlas is available at www.ifremer.fr/charm.
Download the CHARM II Project Atlas.
Contact: André CARPENTIER, Ifremer Boulogne-sur-Mer.