The tables in this section reflect the output of the workshop (October 2019) when the pressures from human activities were assessed for the period 2014 to 2018 for the region. The summary text below the tables elaborates on some of the points that were made at the workshop.
This pressure assessment uses the FeAST classification which includes two abrasion pressures: surface abrasion & sub-surface abrasion. Some expert groups combined these as a single pressure "surface & sub-surface abrasion" whilst others focussed on using surface abrasion alone, hence there is a slight difference in handling for some regions.
The ranking of the pressures in terms of impact is a relative exercise within each region, and is not a statement of their absolute impact. Detailed comparison between regions on the basis of these relative pressure assessments is therefore not advisable.
Main pressures identified
|Priority ||Pressure (FeAST classification) ||Main healthy and biologically diverse components affected ||Main contributing FeAST activity /activities to pressure ||Associated productive assessments |
|1||Physical change (to another seabed type)||
|2||Removal of non-target species (including lethal)||
|3||Removal of target species (including lethal)||
Other pressures identified
Footnote: the ordering of entries is alphabetical and there is no prioritisation between the pressures.
Summary from workshop
The Faroe-Shetland Channel hosts various human activities e.g. demersal fisheries, oil & gas exploitation, shipping and telecommunications. On top of that the area hosts various habitats and ecosystem components some of which e.g. the deep-sea sponge aggregations, are regarded as vulnerable marine ecosystems due to their sensitivity to human activities. Research efforts in the area have shown that demersal fisheries as well as oil and gas activities can have an impact on the status of habitats and ecosystem components. Fisheries, for example, apart from removing target fish species can also have an impact on non-target species likes deep-sea sponges. A recent study which compared the status of deep-sea sponges aggregations in places inside and outside the Faroe-Shetland Channel Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area provided evidence that demersal fisheries exert a significant impact on sponge morphotype diversity, density and body size distribution. Furthermore, other studies have shown that parameters like distance to oil wells/pipelines, the presence of objects and demersal fishing (both static and mobile) had a significant contribution in explaining large spatial scale species assembly while temperature and variance in temperature shaped benthic communities at smaller spatial scales.