The objective of the RAGES project is to develop a risk based approach in order to support the regional and sub-regional implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), in the Northeast Atlantic.

The project aims to provide a replicable and standardized methodology for risk assessment and management, as well as a transparent decision support tool based on best international practices. It has a duration of 24 months, having started in January 2019 and was financed by the European Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in the European Commission's direct management component for the implementation of the said Directive.

The project aims to:

  1. Effectively coordinate the development and application of joint approaches to risk in the implementation of MSFD among project partners (WP1)
  2. Develop the technical and administrative process for a common risk-based approach (RBA) for the implementation of the MSFD and its marine strategies and for the development of monitoring and, measures and programs (WP2)
  3. Test the risk-based approach in the sub-regions of the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast and Macaronesia for descriptor 2 (non-indigenous species). The developed RBA will be tested incorporating national information from France and Portugal and from the first cycle of implementation of the  MSFD. It will focus on the main factors (for example, commercial and recreational transport, aquaculture) and their resulting pressures, on specific types of habitat at risk of non-indigenous species, in order to simplify and harmonize the regional approach to species selection and analysis, criteria, as well as such as monitoring and implementing measures for non-indigenous species. (WP3)
  4. Test the risk-based approach in the sub-regions of the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast, Macaronesia and Celtic Sea for descriptor 11 (underwater noise), focusing on the scale and developing a common regional best practice on aggregating criteria and sub-criteria ( WP4)
  5. Produce a regional risk-based assessment to establish thresholds, targets, programmes of measures, monitoring programmes and make regional recommendations for the harmonized implementation of the second cycle of MSFD in the Northeast Atlantic region. (WP5)
  6. Disseminate and communicate the results of the evaluation through OSPAR and promote the transfer of the approach to other marine regions through regional marine conventions (HELCOM, UNEP-MAP) (WP6).

Its partners are Portugal, Spain, France and Ireland. National participation is ensured by the competent authorities for implementing the Directive in the four marine subdivisions (DGRM - co-coordinator of WP1, Regional Directorate for Sea Affairs of the Regional Government of the Azores and Regional Directorate for Spatial Planning and Environment of the Regional Government of Madeira) and IPMA - coordinator of WP2, the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon and the Regional Agency for the Development of Research, Technology and Innovation (ARDITI) of the Autonomous Region of Madeira.