Channel integrated approach for marine ressource management 

This project was selected within the scope of the InterReg IVA France (Channel) - England cross-boarder European Cooperation Program, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


The English Channel, one of the world’s busiest areas in terms of maritime traffic, is also where water masses transit between the Atlantic and the North Seas. The Channel’s configuration, in terms of e.g. bathymetry and coastal arrangement, contributes to create specific structures, such as fronts and gyres, which control advection processes, the dispersion of living organisms but also pollutants, etc. This area also supports key fishing grounds as a result of the presence of numerous commercial fish species, nursery and spawning areas, migration routes, all related to specific environmental characteristics. An ecosystem-based approach of marine resources management requires the synthesis of existing scientific knowledge and its integration to new research; such an approach will help improving the quality of management and planning advice that is given to decisionmakers.

A deeper understanding of this maritime area is hence needed so as to preserve this fragile marine ecosystem, which is subjected to strong human pressures. It is moreover essential that neighbouring countries share a common vision of the management of this ecosystem for the long-term sustainability of its resources. This can be achieved, for instance, through the development and establishment of tools aimed at analysing and managing human activities.


In this context, the CHARM3 project (phases 1 and 2) represented a first multidisciplinary approach to marine living resource management, through the integration of research undertaken over the past three decades and an innovative approach to spatial ecosystem modelling. Phases 1 and 2 of this European (Interreg 3a) project resulted in an assessment of key marine species and their habitats in the Eastern Channel, followed by the development of prototype management tools able to predict various current and future human impacts in this area. Building on the results obtained during the preceding phases, the objective of CHARM phase 3 is to accentuate the multidisciplinary nature of the works accomplished through an ecosystemic approach, i.e. an "integrated" approach of the management of marine resources (living, mineral, human). As a result; the
study area will be extended to the whole of the English Channel and the south of the North Sea (see map in annex 1) and new expertises (e.g. economy, climate
change) will be introduced in the CHARM team.


Study area considered for the third phase of the project (© GEOPORTAIL, 2007).

Principal actions considered

The project will make a direct contribution to the specific objective 10 of priority 4. A total of 17 main actions are envisaged, which can be grouped under three main priorities: (i) Collection & standardisation of information, (ii) Information integration and (iii) Tools & information dispersal. The expertises involved range from marine sciences (e.g., oceanography, marine biology, fishery science), economy, legislation, geography (e.g. cartography, spatial analysis, Geographical Information Systems), statistics (e.g., ecosystem and trophic network modelling), planning (e.g., marine spatial planning), information technology (e.g., Internet technologies, programming). Many of these expertises are of inter-disciplinary nature, a requirement for any integrated approach.

Collaborating institutes


Contact: André CARPENTIER, Ifremer Boulogne-sur-Mer.