Stakeholders are ready to start using DNA-based monitoring methods
The stakeholder meeting was organized from Aarhus University in Roskilde (DK) and hosted 38 participants from countries around the North Sea but even beyond (France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, Estonia). The aim of the workshop was to showcase the achievements within the GEANS project, to ensure that all the work done is useful for stakeholders’ plans and activities, and take into account stakeholders’ interest in future developments and applications.
An overview was given of the main project results, followed by insights gained from the different pilot studies:
- Introduction to GEANS and overall results by Annelies De Backer (ILVO)
- DNA-based marine biodiversity monitoring with relevance to directives by Peter Staehr (Aarhus University)
- Use of DNA-based methods for ecological impact assessments by Sofie Derycke (ILVO)
- DNA-based monitoring for marine non-indigenous species (NIS) by Pascal Hablützel (VLIZ)
- Towards zero-impact North Sea reef monitoring using eDNA by Reindert Nijland (WUR)
In a second part of the workshop, two early adopters talked about their experiences and plans:
- Application of DNA-based tools for monitoring and management of non-indigenous species in Danish waters by Martin S. Jørgensen (Danish EPA)
- The use of DNA-based methods for management of Swedish waters by Erland Lettevall (SWAM)
- All stakeholders see potential for the application of DNA-based methods and are either exploring, testing or even already implementing.
- The main driver for implementing is cost-efficiency.
- All stakeholders acknowledge that DNA-based methods do not replace traditional methods, and that combined approaches are most promising
- Lack of funding and harmonization are important hurdles for implementation.
These findings will be taken into account in the last work package of GEANS, that aims to provide a decision support tree for stakeholders. More information can be found at geans.eu.