Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)

The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive was transposed into UK legislation on 15 July 2010.  The Directive requires Member States to prepare national strategies to manage their seas to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) by 2020. Major emphasis is placed on international cooperation.

Key requirements of the Directive:

  • An assessment of the current state of UK seas.
  • A detailed description of what GES means for UK waters, with a set of associated targets and indicators.

The two elements (above) were published in the Marine Strategy Part 1 on 20th December 2012.

  • Establishment of a monitoring programme to measure progress towards GES, by July 2012.
  • Establishment of a programme of measures for achieving GES, by July 2014.

MSFD Consultation

A joint consultation between Defra, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government are seeking views on the UK’s proposed monitoring programmes to measure progress towards achieving and maintaining Good Environmental Status (GES) in their seas by 2020.

The consultation covers monitoring proposals for each of the eleven Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) descriptors. These relate to biological diversity, non-indigenous species, commercially exploited fish and shellfish, food webs, human-induced eutrophication, sea floor integrity, hydrographical conditions, contaminants, contaminants in fish and other seafood, marine litter and introduction of energy (including underwater noise).

The consultation will run from 8 January 2014 until 2 April 2014.

The consultation documents and how to response can be accessed via the following link:

More Information

A joint consultation between the Scottish Government, Defra, the Northern Ireland Executive 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).

The Government response to the consultation was published in December 2012 along with the Final Impact Assessment.

Marine Scotland held a MSFD consultation event for all stakeholders on 25th May 2012. Below are the presentations given at the event -

More Information

Downloadable documents:

Title:Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)
Description:Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)
File:MSFD Event - Agenda [DOC, 319.5 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
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File:MSFD Event - Introductions & Overview [PPT, 2245.1 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
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File:MSFD Event - How the Impact Assessment was developed [PPT, 1239.0 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
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File:MSFD Event - How the evidence base for GES targets and indicators was developed [PPT, 6566.9 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
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File:MSFD Event - Noise [PDF, 244.9 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
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File:MSFD Event - Hydrographical Conditions [PPT, 1919.0 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
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