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Initial Assessment of European Seas based on Marine Strategy Framework Directive Article 8 reporting - Summary Report

Released: June 2015: See the report

The aim of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56 ('MSFD'), often referred to as the Marine Directive, is to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) of the EU's marine waters by 2020. In 2012, 23 Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, United Kingdom) had to provide information on their initial assessment (Article 8 of the directive), on the determination of GES (Article 9) and on the establishment of environmental targets and associated indicators (Article 10).

Data analysis of the initial assessments (Article 8) as reported by Member States in 2012 was undertaken by the ETC/ICM with the aim to summarise messages given by initial assessments about the European marine environment. Initial assessments provided information on:

   -  Analysis of features and characteristics, including physical features and features relating to biodiversity such as habitats, species and functional groups (Article 8-1a);

   -  Analysis of the predominant pressures and impacts, including human activity, on the environmental status. (Article 8-1b);

   -  An economic and social analysis of the use of those waters’ characteristics (Article 8-1c).

This ETC/ICM Technical Report gives an overview and summary of the detailed data analysis of the initial assessments (Article 8). A very high percentage of the initial assessments shows that the status is unknown.

Prepared by:

ETC/ICM members: Monika Peterlin, Andreja Palatinus (IWRS),Ana Jesus, Beth Stoker (JNCC), Anita Künitzer (UFZ), Argyro Zenetos (HCMR), Benjamin Boteler, Manuel Lago (Ecologic Institute), Claudette Spiteri, Theo Prins (Deltares), Frank Thomsen ( DHI), GerJan Piet (IMARES), Lidija Globevnik (TC Vode), Norman Green (NIVA)

EEA: Johnny Reker and Trine Christiansen

Published by: ETC/ICM, June 2015, 78 pp.