The 2016 Horizon Scan, compiled by a group of 24 researchers, practitioners, professional horizon scanners, and journalists, identifies emerging trends, including both opportunities and threats, that may impact on global biodiversity. Two of the issues identified could impact on the marine and coastal environment: electric pulse trawling and osmotic power.

Electric pulse trawling is a method of fishing using electric pulses to flush flatfish and shrimp from the seabed. This method is seen as less fuel intensive and destructive and more selective than traditional beam trawls. However, electric pulse trawling has been banned in China and was banned in the EU in 1998. Since then a few EU governments have been allowed permits for electric pulse trawling for scientific research, but there is limited understanding of its ecological impacts.

Another trend identified by the Horizon Scan is osmotic power, a form of energy generation that mixes water of different salinities to create blue energy. Although this form of energy generation is renewable and relatively clean, the brackish byproduct may impacy on salt-intolerant aquatic species. The construction of blue energy plants in estuaries could impact on the surrounding environment.

The full Horizon Scan is open access and available to download.

Eurosite Marine and Coastal Working Group

This year Eurosite is launching a Marine and Coastal Working Group. For more information or to get involved please contact us at info@www.eurosite.org