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More protection for seas and oceans needed

Jun 26, 2020 | News

(25 June 2020) – The Commission adopted today a report on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), which reveals persistent challenges such as excess nutrients, underwater noise, plastic litter, and other types of pollution as well as unsustainable fishing.

© jackmac34

The quality status of Europe’s seas portrays a mixed picture. For example some species show signs of recovery (e.g. white-tailed eagles in the Baltic Sea), while others show steep deterioration (40% of elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean).

While fishing effort has decreased in the North-east Atlantic, about 79% of Europe’s coastal seabed and 43% of the shelf/slope area is physically disturbed, mainly caused by bottom trawling.

46% of Europe’s coastal waters are still subject to intense eutrophication. While EU rules regulating chemicals have led to a reduction in contaminants, we see an increased accumulation of plastics and plastic chemical residues in most of the marine species.

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