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Detail of outcome
A joint consultation between Defra, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government was held between 27 March and 18 June 2012. The consultation sought views on the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). We are grateful for all the comments we received.
The Directive requires Member States to take measures to achieve or maintain Good Environmental Status (GES) for their seas by 2020. GES involves protecting the marine environment, preventing its deterioration and restoring it where practical, while using marine resources sustainably. The Directive is very wide-ranging and sets out eleven descriptors of GES relating to biological diversity, non-indigenous species introductions, commercially exploited fish and shellfish populations, food webs, human-induced eutrophication, sea floor integrity, hydrographical conditions, concentrations_ _of contaminants, contaminants in fish and other seafood, litter and noise.
The consultation focused on the initial stages of implementation and included a draft initial assessment of the state of the UK’s seas; proposals for UK characteristics of GES; proposals for detailed UK targets and indicators of GES; and an impact assessment setting out potential implications of the proposed GES targets and indicators. Later consultations will cover proposals for the UK monitoring programmes for GES and the UK programmes of measures for achieving GES.
For the UK, the Directive is part of a package of policies, united by our vision for ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas’. The Directive’s aims are consistent with this vision and current policies, such as the implementation of the Marine and Coastal Access Act, and the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy will play a major role in helping us achieve GES.
Find more information on the MSFD as well as a series of factsheets
The following research reports provide the evidence base for the proposals set out in the consultation:
- Designing Business as Usual Projections of the Marine Environment to Inform the UK Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, ABPmer 2012
- Proposed UK targets for achieving GES and cost-benefit analysis for the MSFD, Cefas 2012
If you have further questions, please contact Defra: MSFDTeam@defra.gsi.gov.uk