(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.
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.