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 co-operation.

Key requirements of the Directive are:

  • 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 20 December 2012.

The  Marine Strategy Part Two was published on 05 August 2014. This provides a description of the UK’s MSFD marine monitoring programmes.

MSFD Consultation

The Scottish Government, Defra, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Welsh Government are seeking views on the UK's proposed programme of measures to maintain or achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in their seas by 2020.

The consultation covers proposals for a programme of measures for each of the 11 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 runs until 24 April 2015 and can be found at: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/msfd-programme-of-measures

Further information on previous consultations can be found below.

More Information

A joint consultation between Defra, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government was held between 08 January and 02 April 2014. The consultation sought views on the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). We are grateful for all the comments we received.

The consultation is now closed but can be viewed via the following link: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/msfd-proposals-for-uk-marine-monitoring-programmes.

The Government response to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) consultation on proposals for the UK monitoring programmes has now been published. You can find it at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/marine-strategy-framework-directive-measuring-progress-in-uk.

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 an MSFD consultation event for all stakeholders on 25 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]
Open | Open in new window
File:MSFD Event - Introductions & Overview [PPT, 2245.1 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
Open | Open in new window
File:MSFD Event - How the Impact Assessment was developed [PPT, 1239.0 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
Open | Open in new window
File:MSFD Event - How the evidence base for GES targets and indicators was developed [PPT, 6566.9 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
Open | Open in new window
File:MSFD Event - Noise [PDF, 244.9 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
Open | Open in new window
File:MSFD Event - Hydrographical Conditions [PPT, 1919.0 kb: 20 Dec 2012]
Open | Open in new window
 Viewer Help