EU Science Hub

Coastal and marine environment

The coastal and marine environment is a major provider of goods and services, such as food, fossil fuels, construction materials, transport and recreation. It also hosts an invaluable biodiversity that forms complex ecosystems which are threatened by human activities such as agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, urbanisation and tourism.

The JRC provides scientific and technical support for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive which aims to protect marine waters.

The JRC systematically assesses key environmental indicators of marine and coastal areas using a unique combination of satellite observations and numerical modelling simulations. Remotely sensed data is analysed and used to develop a marine and coastal knowledge base, which focuses on physically and biologically sensitive areas within European waters and other seas of interest. This knowledge base supports a consistent ecosystem approach to integrated coastal management and maritime spatial planning.

Marine biodiversity

The JRC supports the Marine Strategy Framework Directive’s aim to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES) of all European Seas by 2020 by assessing European marine waters, determining their environmental status and establishing monitoring programmes. In parallel, the JRC provides access to up-to-date, ready-to-use and tailor-made information for the assessment of the ecological quality of coastal and marine waters in Europe.


Monitoring Marine Biomass and Productivity

Europe’s enclosed and marginal seas can provide a vital contribution to the EU 2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. An Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU is essential to achieving EU commitments with respect to biodiversity targets, climate change mitigation and efficient use of natural resources. In order to achieve these targets and objectives, we need a better understanding of the inner workings of the many diverse seas and coastal systems, which are the mainstay of countless economic and recreational activities.


Marine environment  

In cooperation with the European Environment Agency (EEA), the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), and the regional Marine Conventions, the JRC provides scientific and technical advice to the European Commission on marine and coastal stewardship in Europe.

Sustainable management of natural resources in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States

The JRC also supports EU development policy by assisting ACP countries to manage and protect their coastal and marine ecosystems. This includes providing environmental monitoring expertise to assess the state of biodiversity.

More information:

Sustainable management of natural resources in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries.