Paper on the challenges of taking account of long timescales in the management of Europe’s regional seas

Our ability to meet environmental targets is often constrained by processes and events that occur over long timescales and which may not be considered during the planning process. The paper illustrates and defines three major types of temporal scale phenomena of relevance to marine managers: Memory and Future Effects (jointly called Legacy Effects) and Committed Behaviours. The role of these effects in achieving marine environmental targets in Europe under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive is examined, together with the implications for future management.

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