EU Member States are stepping up measures to protect seas and oceans
A new European Commission report shows that EU Member States have made considerable efforts to address pressures on the marine environment. Despite this, the measures are not yet sufficient to achieve good, healthy and productive seas by 2020.
31.07.2018, the European Commission published a report on the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive assessing the measures put in place by EU Member States to achieve 'good environmental status' by 2020. This concept is defined by measures conserving biodiversity and tackling pressures like overfishing, seabed damage, marine litter and contaminants.
The programmes of measures set up by Member States under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive are the last step of 6-year strategies. In their programmes of measures Member States have relied on regional cooperation more than ever before, and integrated different national, EU and international policies. For example, to fight overfishing and reduce the negative impacts of fishing, Member States have reported measures taken under the EU Common Fisheries Policy, in regional and international agreements, as well as new measures, such as introducing the use of specific and less damaging fishing gear.
One in four measures announced by Member States has been developed specifically for the purposes of this Directive to target pressures on the marine environment that would otherwise not be covered. Nevertheless, the assessment shows that the goal of ‘good environmental status’ of European marine waters by 2020 will not be achieved without further improvements. In some cases, such as marine litter, where Member States lacked coordinated measures, this shortcoming is partly addressed at EU level, through the EU’s Strategy on plastics and its subsequent actions.
The full press release is at ec.europa.eu
The EU Commission's report assessing Member States' programmes of measures under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive can be found under eur-lex.europa.eu