Marine habitat en anglais, habitat marin en français c'est:
A physical structure (sand, rocks, mud...) + the living beings that live there (animals, plants, micro-organisms)
In a temperate environment, these natural marine habitats are for example: seagrass beds, sandy bottoms, mudflats...
The European "Habitats-Fauna-Flora" Directive of 1992 classifies these habitats into 9 major generic categories and their conservation status is regularly assessed by the National Museum of Natural History.
The latest assessments in 2012 and 2018 report a critical situation:
The conservation status of a habitat is assessed as unfavorable if one of the following criteria does not meet a threshold defined for each habitat:
- structure (species composition) and functions,
- future prospects.
In addition to being a common natural heritage that it is our responsibility to protect, marine habitats provide us with many essential services.
Fish, crustaceans and shellfish, the species caught in our seas are directly dependent on habitats for reproduction (spawning grounds), protection (refuges) and food (nurseries).
Many pharmaceutical and industrial molecules also come from marine organisms linked to our habitats.
They supply oxygen and sequester the main greenhouse gas thereby mitigating the effects of climate change.
They purify the residual pollution discharged into the sea by the rivers.
They allow the development of nautical activities such as diving, nature sports and yachting which contribute to our quality of life and to the tourist success of France.