To ensure the accessibility of high-quality data informing our approach, B-USEFUL will focus on European shelf seas where long-term scientific survey data on species abundances, traits and environmental conditions are routinely monitored and available from project partners and existing European data infrastructures.

Furthermore, these ecoregions experience profound contrasts in environmental condition and human pressures, including some of the highest rates of warming worldwide. Furthermore, B-USEFUL will primarily focus on assessing the status and cumulative impacts of biodiversity of marine species and communities of fish and benthic invertebrates.

The primary focus on these organism groups is motivated because of their stronger associations and dependencies on physical characteristics provided by certain habitats, sediments and locations where spatial management actions (including MPAs) are relevant to reduce human impacts (e. g., trawling or physical infrastructure).

Nevertheless, the specific tools and approaches developed within B-USEFUL are equally applicable to assess the status, risks and cumulative impacts on biodiversity of other organism groups.

Examples of European data infrastructure available to project partners, including high-resolution surveys of marine fish (A), sampling stations of benthic invertebrates (B) and estuarine fish (C) enabling a pan-European assessment, mapping and comparison of marine biodiversity and its changes across European Seas.