The use of the concept of Marine Biological Valuation, Conclusions

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As part of the Encora project a workshop was held on marine biological valuation, from 6 to 8 December 2006 at Ghent (Belgium). The workshop was a joint venture of the EU CA ENCORA ( and the EU NoE MARBEF ( Both Theme 7 within ENCORA and Theme 3 within MARBEF deal with marine/coastal biological valuation and the workshop aimed to reach a consensus on this topic. This considered the concept of marine biological diversity evaluation in some detail. This article provides a summary of the main conclusions from the workshop. The workshop report can be downloaded at ( This article reports the conclusions on the use of marine biological valuation as follows:

  • Marine biological value provides a comprehensive concept for assessing the intrinsic value of the subzones within a study area. Marine biological valuation is not a strategy for protecting all habitats and marine communities that have some ecological significance, but is a tool for calling attention to subzones that have particularly high ecological or biological significance and to facilitate provision of a greater-than-usual degree of risk aversion in spatial planning activities in these subzones.
  • Based on a thorough review of existing criteria, a selection of criteria (first-order criteria for marine biological valuation: aggregation, rarity and fitness consequences; modifying criteria: naturalness and proportional importance) was rationalized, aiming at a widely applicable valuation concept. We have also attempted to clarify the numerous criteria and definitions of value that are current in the literature.
  • As this biological valuation concept is based on the consensus reached by a group of experts on this matter, we realize that refinement of the methodology could be necessary once it has been evaluated on the basis of case study areas.


These paragraphs are based on the paper of Derous et al. (2007). A concept for biological valuation in the marine environment. Oceanologia 49 (1). See FLANDERS MARINE INSTITUTE web site at [1] for further information and to download a copy of the paper.