Skip to content


PML contributes to OSPAR 2023 policy assessment of pelagic habitats

11 August 2023

Today the OSPAR Commission shared the 36th issue of highlights from its Quality Status Report 2023, focusing on the Plankton Indicator Assessments.
Phytoplankton by Claire Widdicombe PML supplied phytoplankton and zooplankton 30-year time series data from the Western Channel Observatory’s sampling station L4.
Dr Angus Atkinson, Marine Ecologist at PML involved in the assessment, commented:

"The Western Channel Observatory data is a unique time series with detailed data on all of the plankton indicators, including gelatinous species, so it is vital part of this assessment. By combining it with other timeseries around the UK, we obtained a worrying picture of the extent to which climate change was impacting our plankton".
OSPAR is the mechanism by which 15 Governments & the EU co-operate to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. It has a long history, having started in 1972 with the Oslo Convention against ocean dumping and was broadened to cover land-based sources of marine pollution and the offshore industry by the Paris Convention of 1974. OSPAR is so named because of the original Oslo and Paris Conventions ("OS" for Oslo and "PAR" for Paris).

Related information

OSPAR Commission
Quality Status Report 2023, Issue 36: Plankton Indicator Assessments