NEAT (Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool) is a free software used to evaluate the environmental status of the marine environment, in principle within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), but it can also be used to assess impacts in the sea (such as the effects of human activities on marine diversity, and variations caused by climate change). The software can be downloaded at www.devotes-project.eu/neat.
The assessments are done in an integrated way, following the principles of ecosystem management, including multiple ecosystem components, multiple habitats, indicators, and the 11 MSFD descriptors.
The challenge to carry out complex assessments is now made easier thanks to the NEAT tool
- Government departments responsible for marine environment assessments.
- Scientific research centres.
- Any sector that carries out activities in the marine environment: oil and gas, aquaculture, fishing, tourism, ports, etc.
- Comply with legislation from Directives such as the MSFD and the Habitat Directive.
- Carry out environmental impact studies.
The NEAT software has been successfully applied in Europe, the Caspian Sea, the Mediterranean, Saudi Arabia, and deep areas of the Atlantic, and its effectiveness has been demonstrated in all cases
- Application to 10 case studies around Europe: L. Uusitalo, H. Blanchet, J. Andersen, O. Beauchard, T. Berg, S. Bianchelli, A. Cantafaro, J. Carstensen, L. Carugati, S. Cochrane, R. Danovaro, A.-S. Heiskanen, V. Karvinen, S. Moncheva, C. Murray, J. Neto, H. Nygård, M. Pantazi, N. Papadopoulou, N. Simboura, G. Srėbalienė, M. C. Uyarra, A. Borja, 2016. Indicator-based Assessment of Marine Biological Diversity – Lessons from 10 Case Studies across the European Seas. Frontiers in Marine Science, 3: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00159.
- Application to the Caspian Sea: H. Nemati, M. R. Shokri, Z. Ramezanpour, G. H. Ebrahimi Pour, I. Muxika, Á. Borja, 2017. Using multiple indicators to assess the environmental status in impacted and non-impacted bathing waters in the Iranian Caspian Sea. Ecological Indicators, 82: 175-182.
- It is currently being applied to the Mediterranean, Saudi Arabia and deep areas of the Atlantic, among other areas.