Monitoring protocol of the Ecosystem Approach Common Indicators 6

The scope of this document is to provide the monitoring guidelines to environmental management practitioners (e.g. environmental authority representatives, researchers, students, Marine Protected Area [MPA] representatives) on field methodologies for monitoring Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) in MPAs and in identified hotspots to enabling the same practitioners to achieve the goals of EcAp Common Indicator 6, by reviewing recognized good practices in the field of NIS monitoring protocols.

The EcAp Common Indicator 6: “Trends in abundance, temporal occurrence and spatial distribution of non-indigenous species, particularly invasive non-indigenous species, notably in risk areas in relation to the main vectors and pathways of spreading of such species”.

This Common Indicator was selected by the February 2014 Integrated Correspondence Group on GES and Targets (Integrated CorGest) of the EcAp process of the Barcelona Convention from the integrated list of indicators adopted in the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18), as a basis of a common monitoring programme for the Mediterranean in relation to non-indigenous species, being preferred over other Common Indicators for Ecological Objective (EO)2 (Non-indigenous species), such as the ‘Ratio between non-indigenous invasive species and native species in some well-studied taxonomic groups.’

Common Indicator 6 is a trend indicator, whose main objective is to establish reliable, long-term datasets as the first step of monitoring. In order for this trend indicator to become operational, at least two years of relevant data are necessary, in order to allow a minimal comparison of two annual datasets. In the absence of relevant pre-application (of the trend indicator) data, it is advised to deploy a two-year dataset collected after the optimisation of the indicator.’