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.
HOPE for our seas and ocean
- To take stock of the state of Europe's seas five years after the adoption of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the European Commission organised a major conference on the marine environment, that was held in Brussels on 3-4 March 2014. The HOPE conference brought together those working with or in relation to the European marine environment and provided them with the opportunity to discuss progress made over the past 5 years, the problems that still remain and the solutions for improved coherence and better marine governance. At the close of the Healthy Oceans - Productive Ecosystems (HOPE) conference, the "Declaration of HOPE" output document has been issued. Presentations and recordings of the sessions are available here!
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- Speech by Commissioner Potočnik
Healthy Oceans and Seas in Europe by 2020: further efforts needed to reach the EU objective
The European Commission adopted a report today, drawing on the lessons from five years of implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The European Commission's analysis shows that the marine environment is not in good status and more efforts are urgently needed if the EU is to reach its 2020 goal.
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- Press release