Our Oceans, Seas and Coasts
A precious resource…
We all make use of our seas and oceans. Traditional uses (transport, fishing, tourism) now sit alongside more recent activities (mineral extraction, wind farms). The seas have enormous intrinsic value: unlike our cities, they provide us with a free horizon; we enjoy clean coastal and marine environments and the wildlife they support; and we benefit from their role in keeping our climate stable.
But the unsustainable use of our seas threatens the fragile balance of marine ecosystems. Human activities that depend on the sea, such as fishing and tourism, suffer from damaged ecosystems and use-related competition will become increasingly serious.
What is the EU doing?
The EU Coastal and Marine Policy provides the legal impetus for the EU to protect and clean up its coasts, seas and oceans as part of an integrated strategy that will enable us to use them sustainably.
The MSFD's contribution to international and EU commitments in the marine field
- The Commission adopted a report outlining the contribution of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to EU and international commitments in the marine environment, including the follow up to the oceans chapter of Rio+20.
An independent, supporting study (not representing the view of the European Commission) is also available for more detailed information.
- Read more...
- Links between the Nature Directives and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
- FAQs document now published by DG ENVs Nature and Marine Unit!
- Read more...
- New Brochure “Seas for Life”
- The brochure "Seas for Life - Protected, Sustainable, Shared European Seas by 2020" was published in November 2011. Read it here !
- New Commission Document
- The Commission Staff Working Paper on the Relationship between the initial assessment of marine waters and the criteria for good environmental status was prepared in support to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC). This technical document provides important guidance to Member States to accompany the Commission Decision of 1 September 2010 on criteria and methodological standards on good environmental status of marine waters. Together, these documents provide a better understanding of the Directive and will therefore allow Members States to take the necessary measures to achieve or maintain good environmental status in the marine environment by the year 2020. Read it here!