Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The European Commission Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims to achieve Good Environmental Status in European seas by 2020. The Directive came into force on 15 July 2008 and fits well with the UK vision for ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse seas’.

Key requirements of the Directive are:

  • An assessment of the current state of UK seas by July 2012
  • A detailed description of what Good Environmental Status means for UK waters, and associated targets and indicators by July 2012
  • Establishment of a monitoring programme to measure progress toward Good Environmental Status by July 2014
  • Establishment of a programme of measures for achieving Good Environmental Status by 2016

In order to be able to implement the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the UK, a Statutory Instrument came into force on 15 July 2010, laying out a clear legal framework for the Directive within the UK.

Read the associated Final Impact Assessment.

The EC has now provided member states with a detailed draft set of criteria and methodological standards to use as the basis for developing indicators and their associated targets of Good Environmental Status at national level.

The Directive sets out eleven high level descriptors of Good Environmental Status. Between now and 2012 the UK will establish exactly what Good Environmental Status means for our seas, working closely with the European Commission and other countries in Europe.

More information and publications relating to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive can be found here.

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