Bays and estuaries are among the most valuable and at the same time most threatened marine ecosystems.

These areas are being severely affected by environmental changes – rising sea level, drought, and ocean acidification – many of which driven by human activities. Estuaries are highly productive environments and essential fish habitats, thereby supporting important socio-economic activities such as fisheries, tourism and nautical activities.

In 30 years, nearly 75 % of the world’s population is estimated to be living along coasts which may put an extra pressure on coastal ecosystems. Assessing and understanding the biotic relationships and the impact of human activities in estuarine and bay areas is imperative to safeguard the maintenance of biodiversity and ensure the economic, culture and social sustainability of the communities that depend on these ecosystems.