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Sheppard C.,University of Warwick | Al-Husiani M.,Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research | Al-Jamali F.,Qatar University | Al-Yamani F.,Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research | And 20 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2010

This review examines the substantial changes that have taken place in marine habitats and resources of the Gulf over the past decade. The habitats are especially interesting because of the naturally high levels of temperature and salinity stress they experience, which is important in a changing world climate. However, the extent of all natural habitats is changing and their condition deteriorating because of the rapid development of the region and, in some cases from severe, episodic warming episodes. Major impacts come from numerous industrial, infrastructure-based, and residential and tourism development activities, which together combine, synergistically in some cases, to cause the observed deterioration in most benthic habitats. Substantial sea bottom dredging for material and its deposition in shallow water to extend land or to form a basis for huge developments, directly removes large areas of shallow, productive habitat, though in some cases the most important effect is the accompanying sedimentation or changes to water flows and conditions. The large scale of the activities compared to the relatively shallow and small size of the water body is a particularly important issue. Important from the perspective of controlling damaging effects is the limited cross-border collaboration and even intra-country collaboration among government agencies and large projects. Along with the accumulative nature of impacts that occur, even where each project receives environmental assessment or attention, each is treated more or less alone, rarely in combination. However, their combination in such a small, biologically interacting sea exacerbates the overall deterioration. Very few similar areas exist which face such a high concentration of disturbance, and the prognosis for the Gulf continuing to provide abundant natural resources is poor. © 2009.


Jacob C.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Pioch S.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Thorin S.,CREOCEAN
Environmental Impact Assessment Review | Year: 2016

While the development of maritime economic activity is increasingly encouraged, the consideration of its impacts constitutes a real challenge. The limitations of the implementation of the mitigation hierarchy have been widely discussed in scientific literature, yet data on marine biodiversity offset practices remains scarce. In this study, we investigated the use of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) as suitable instruments to achieve the No Net Loss objective. Drawing on a French approach developed for the initial assessment of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, we examined the pressures and impacts related to various marine development projects and the effectiveness of the mitigation hierarchy in limiting these. An analysis of 55 recent French environmental impact studies showed that only 7% of the proposed measures had the aim of offsetting predicted degradation of sites of remarkable biodiversity. This can be partly explained by the lack of a clear definition of 'significant impact', which varies greatly depending on what is impacted, in turn allowing socio-economic activities to benefit more easily from offset. Furthermore, offsetting does not always constitute the final step of the mitigation hierarchy, highlighting the need to reinforce avoidance and reduction steps. Although we acknowledge the role of EIA in mitigating the negative impacts of development projects, synergies with other European marine environmental policies such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Maritime Spatial Planning directive (MSP) should be developed in order to improve current practices. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


Bas A.,Électricité de France | Jacob C.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Hay J.,University of Western Brittany | Pioch S.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Thorin S.,CREOCEAN
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2016

Although the limitations of implementing the mitigation hierarchy have been widely discussed in scientific literature, these studies have drawn mainly on feedback concerning terrestrial ecosystems. In the case of development projects in marine and coastal environments, certain issues must be tackled to improve existing practice. This article focuses on the methodologies used to assess both the ecological losses resulting from a development project and the ecological gains generated by an offset measure. The originality of this article is to propose a standardized, operational approach regardless of the development project and the ecosystem impacted that (i) enhances avoidance and reduction efforts and (ii) assesses biodiversity offset needs based on data available in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). The proposed hybrid method combines a multi-criteria analysis of the state of the environment, inspired by the Unified Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM), and a more accurate assessment at indicator level inspired by Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA). The steps of the method, from the selection of biophysical indicators to offset sizing, are described and are then applied to two EIA case studies: one related to a port extension and the other to an offshore wind farm. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Dutrieux E.,Creocean | Proisy C.,IRD Montpellier | Fromard F.,Ecolab | Walcker R.,Ecolab | And 4 more authors.
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment 2014: The Journey Continues | Year: 2014

Mangroves are critical ecosystems given their key role in conserving biodiversity, protecting coastlines from erosion and supporting coastal resources. They may be impacted by oil and gas activities, either directly or indirectly. Restoring them is therefore of prime importance. In the Mahakam Delta (East Kalimantan, Indonesia), oil and gas exploration and production have been conducted for more than 40 years. This industry has operated in a quasi-pristine area barely affected by human activities until the mid 80's. Toward the late 1980's and until 2000, the delta was subject to massive and rapid development of shrimp farming and by 2001, 85% of the delta mangroves were destroyed and most of it replaced by ponds used for aquaculture. By the end of 1990's, shrimp farm productivity in the delta decreased due to a lack of nutrients in ponds and the occurrence of shrimp diseases. Numerous ponds were abandoned in the delta. This economic situation generated social instabilities that could threaten the oil and gas industry in the region. Therefore, in order to better protect mangroves and optimize restoration of damaged areas, Total E&P Indonesie embarked on a mangrove restoration initiative of the Mahakam Delta aimed at understanding and contributing to the restoration processes through both natural recolonization and planting techniques. The general methodology implemented has been to i) describe the land cover using satellite imagery, interpreting aerial photos, conducting field work, and establishing GIS maps, ii) inventory the fauna and flora (including mangroves, birds, mammals, reptiles), iii) monitoring the naturally re-colonized areas, replanted areas and original forest in selected areas. Results show that natural recolonization of a mangrove area can be very quick under certain conditions (subject to availability of seeds and easy access of seeds to the area to be recolonized). But in areas where seeds cannot easily move, or where seed supply is scarce, replanting remains the best option. Social aspects have also to be taken into account given that replanting can promote the local commitment to sustainable environmental conservation. Copyright 2014 , Society of Petroleum Engineers.


PubMed | Électricité de France, University of Western Brittany, CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology and CREOCEAN
Type: | Journal: Journal of environmental management | Year: 2016

Although the limitations of implementing the mitigation hierarchy have been widely discussed in scientific literature, these studies have drawn mainly on feedback concerning terrestrial ecosystems. In the case of development projects in marine and coastal environments, certain issues must be tackled to improve existing practice. This article focuses on the methodologies used to assess both the ecological losses resulting from a development project and the ecological gains generated by an offset measure. The originality of this article is to propose a standardized, operational approach regardless of the development project and the ecosystem impacted that (i) enhances avoidance and reduction efforts and (ii) assesses biodiversity offset needs based on data available in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). The proposed hybrid method combines a multi-criteria analysis of the state of the environment, inspired by the Unified Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM), and a more accurate assessment at indicator level inspired by Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA). The steps of the method, from the selection of biophysical indicators to offset sizing, are described and are then applied to two EIA case studies: one related to a port extension and the other to an offshore wind farm.


Le Cozannet G.,Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières | Garcin M.,Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières | Petitjean L.,Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières | Petitjean L.,University Paris | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2013

The climate component of sea level variation displays significant spatial variability, and it is now possible to reconstruct how sea level varied globally and regionally over the past half century. The fact that sea level rose faster than the global mean since 1950 in the central Pacific stimulated a study of decadal shoreline changes in this region. Here, the study of Yates et al. (2013) was extended to two additional atolls (17 islets): Tetiaroa and Tupai in the Society islands. Both atolls remain stable on the whole from 1955 to 2001/02, however with significant differences in shoreline changes among their islets and within the period. A modeling of waves generated by historical cyclonic events in French Polynesia since 1970 reveals consistency between major shoreline changes and cyclonic and seasonal waves. As in previous studies, this suggests that waves' actions are a dominant cause of shoreline dynamics on relatively undeveloped atolls, even if affected by higher sea level rise rates. In such regions, numerous joint analyses of shoreline changes and their potential causes may help to explain the relation between erosion and sea level rise. © Coastal Education & Research Foundation 2013.


Robert D.,Total S.A. | Labaune C.,Creocean | Oyoubi A.,Total S.A.
1st Applied Shallow Marine Geophysics Conference, Part of Near Surface Geoscience 2014 | Year: 2014

The oil terminal of the Cap Lopez in Gabon is situated on the extremity of a sandy arrow which is subject to strong sedimentary mobility phenomena's. To understand the hydrodynamic system of the site, a 4D morpho-bathymetric study is conducted since 1958. The difficulty of this study is mainly due to the lack of homogeneity in terms of precision and wedging of the data. The old data (1958 to 2003) consists of sounding maps acquired with mono-beam echo-sounders. From 2004, digital data were acquired with mono-beam echo-sounders (2004 to 2008) then with multi-beam echo-sounders. Besides the diversity of the operated tools, the quality of the surveys and their precision are variable depending on the weather conditions, the calibration processes and the validation of the data during the acquisition. After data homogenization and selection, a 4D analysis was conducted using GIS tool in order to compare all the bathymetric surveys but also the shoreline evolution. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the evolutions of the site is produced. The objectives of this regular follow-up are to better understand the sedimentary processes and to delineate the potential geohazard zones to anticipate slope failures.


Febbo E.,ExxonMobil | Richard C.,CREOCEAN | Horlin E.,CREOCEAN | Le Gall R.,CREOCEAN | And 2 more authors.
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE/APPEA Int. Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production 2012: Protecting People and the Environment - Evolving Challenges | Year: 2012

The Arabian Gulf is shallow, sub-tropical, and semi-enclosed, all factors that promote considerable variations in water quality properties. A one and half year study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of PAM (Pulse Amplitude Modulation) chlorophyll a fluorometry in monitoring the health of coral reefs. The objectives were: (i) to evaluate the efficacy of PAM chlorophyll fluorometry as a means of assessing sub-lethal stress in corals; (ii) to calibrate and validate this technique for future monitoring applications; (iii) to collect field data to correlate detected changes in stress status to changes in the magnitude of environmental factors that are known to affect these organisms. The study consisted of five field surveys covering seasonal variations. PAM fluorometry measurements were completed with detailed visual assessments of the health status of the corals. While the visual signs of stress were difficult to quantify, the PAM fluorescence data provided a better objective and quantitative measure of stress at the time of the surveys than those afforded by traditional visual observations. The reduced photosynthetic efficiency indicated by the PAM, without clear visual signs of impairment in coral structure, was generally followed by necrosis of parts of the colonies; this was visually verified in subsequent campaigns. Moreover, corals experienced severe bleaching during summer 2010 and PAM fluorometry data allowed a detailed analysis of the process including recovery. This study demonstrated that PAM fluorometry can improve efforts for monitoring coral health and protecting coral reef communities in the Qatar and Gulf environment by providing objective data on the photosynthetic performances and the state of stress of these organisms. Copyright 2012, SPE/APPEA International Conference on Health, Safety, and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production.


Le Hir P.,French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea | Kervella S.,Collège de France | Walker P.,Creocean | Brenon I.,University of La Rochelle
Houille Blanche | Year: 2010

Managing sediments in the baie de Marennes-Oléron (Atlantic coast of France) can be achieved providing particulate fluxes at the scale of the basin are available, as well as tidal and meteorological conditions during which major transports occur. A sediment dynamics model accounting for tide- and wave-induced sand and mud transport has been applied to the Pertuis Charentais area. Consolidation of pure mud and mixtures of sand and mud is accounted for. The model validation is achieved by current and turbidity measurements, local altimetric surveys during one year and pressure measurements for waves on the tidal flat. An asymmetry between eastern and western halves of the bay is observed on turbidity signals, in agreement with a residual circulation from north to south. This flow generates a net fine sediment transport towards the south. A part of it is deposited within the bay. According to the model, the eroded area east of Antioche inlet would be the main source of this southward flux: this feature has to be validated. The flux can be inversed during storms, but for a short duration. However, waves are dominant in the resuspension process. Last, the variability of sediment nature is demonstrated with the model, at different time scales in relation with tidal phases and storm. © 2010 Société Hydrotechnique de France.


Chaineau C.-H.,Total DGE and P | Hirst R.,Yemen LNG | Al-Thary I.,Yemen LNG | Dutrieux E.,Creocean | And 3 more authors.
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production 2010 | Year: 2010

The Yemen LNG plant construction started in September 2005 in Balhaf in the Gulf of Aden and lasted over 4 years. The 1 km2 plant, within a 10 km2 fenced site, lies along 7 km of coastline. This paper describes the approach of Yemen LNG along with its main shareholder Total E&P, concerning the protection of the coral biodiversity during marine construction activities in a sensitive environment. This approach was developed according to three stages: establishing biodiversity, monitoring coral communities and protecting the reef ecosystem with mitigation and compensation means. Knowledge of the coral biodiversity was an indispensable preliminary stage to evaluate the sensitivity of the site. The Environmental Baseline Studies have highlighted the richness of the marine ecosystem. The plant is bordered by a dense, diversified coral community forming a narrow reef extending from the shore to a depth of 15 metres. Almost 85 coral species occur in the reefs, colonizing about 85% of the substrate. The largest coral colonies are approximately 400 years old. Therefore, these corals are a valuable and delicate resource. Monitoring composition and diversity of corals communities is considered an integral part of biodiversity conservation. The monitoring plan allowed to measure several parametres: some of which were related to the natural environment, others measured the effects of the works on water quality and finally, most observations included a direct measurement of coral community health. Protecting the reef ecosystem by implementing mitigation and compensation measures is aimed at keeping reef biodiversity at its highest level by preventing and/or reducing the negative impacts on the ecosystem. Initially, part of the marine construction work encroached on existing coral outcrops. A planned, but not yet implemented, Marine Protected Area nearby also increased the pressure on the construction teams who had to fulfill the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment Study requirements as well as World Bank and IFC standards. It is recognized that some limited physical damage to corals occurred despite the implementation of these mitigation measures. Lessons learned from the monitoring will be used to provide feedback to the industry in general. This offers a positive way forward when constructing installations in sensitive coastal marine environments. Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

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