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Environmental risk assessment of marine activities

This article focuses on Ecological Risk Assessment (EcoRA) of Marine activities. We first describe the general aspects and steps of the ERA process that most risk assessments are confronted with. The application of environmental risk assessment of marine activites is then illustrated in a case study focusing Merchant Shipping in the Belgian Part of the North Sea (BPNS).


In broad terms, risk assessment is the procedure in which the risks posed by inherent hazards involved in processes or situations are estimated either quantitatively or qualitatively. Environmental Risk Assessments (ERA) are carried out to examine the effects of an entity or agent on humans (Health Risk Assessment) and ecosystems (Ecological Risk Assessment).