Policy paper

Marine strategy part one: UK initial assessment and good environmental status

This strategy outlines an initial assessment of our seas and characteristics, targets and indicators of Good Environmental Status (GES) in UK seas.



This is the first part of a strategy to outline how we will move towards Good Environmental Status (GES) in UK seas by 2020. It covers:

  • the initial assessment of the state of the UK’s seas cover paper
  • proposals for characteristics of GES for the UK’s seas
  • proposals for more detailed GES targets and indicators, through which we will measure progress towards achieving GES

Part 2 of the strategy sets out how we will monitor progress against the 11 descriptors for GES.

Part 3 outlines the measures that contribute to the achievement and maintenance of GES in UK seas by 2020.

The aim of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is for EU member states to put in place measures to achieve GES in their marine waters by 2020.

Member states must develop marine strategies for their waters consisting of:

  • an initial assessment of their marine waters
  • characteristics, targets and indicators of GES
  • monitoring programmes for measuring progress towards GES
  • programmes of measures to achieve or maintain GES