The RAGES Project

Risk-based Approaches to Good Environmental Status (RAGES) is a two-year project which aims to support the development and operational implementation of regional indicators, lists of elements and threshold values and integration rules for Good Environmental Status.  The RAGES project is comprised of a consortium made up of competent authorities from Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal with (regional and sub-regional) responsibility for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the North East Atlantic region, comprising the Celtic Seas, Bay of Biscay and Iberian as well as Macronesian sub-regions and will work closely with the OSPAR commsision.

RAGES focuses on the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of Ireland and Portugal and the Atlantic parts of the French and Spanish EEZs. Combined these make up the majority of European territorial waters within the North East Atlantic Region. The study area includes three sub-regions: The Celtic Seas (which are shared between Ireland, UK and France), the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coasts (shared by France, Spain and Portugal) and Macaronesia (which includes the Portuguese island groups of the Azores and Madeira, as well as the Spanish Canary Islands).

Risk Management

Uncertainty is an integral part of managing environmental systems and management in the face of uncertainty is a foundational concept in the application of adaptive or ecosystem-based management. In many cases the response of a specific system to a management action may not be the intended one, under such uncertainty adaptive management or “learning by doing" is required. By combining the learning, outputs and tools from major EU research projects (e.g. KnowSeas, ODEMM, DEVOTES) RAGES will work with the competent authorities to use international best practice in risk managment (ISO 30000, ISO3010) and work toward commom approaches for second cycle of MSFD implementation.


RAGES will develop a conceptual frame for incorporation of risk-based approaches into the MSFD. The risk-based approach will be applied at a sub-regional scale to the ananlysis of Alien Invasive Species (Desriptor 2 of the MSFD) as well as to energy and noise (Desciptor 11). The findings and best practices will be used to recommend targets for these descriptors as well as to develop a transferrable Standard Operating Porcedure.

The RAGES project commenced in January 2019 and runs for two years unitl Dec 2021.