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Marine Messages

Marine Messages

Our seas, our future — moving towards a new understanding
If we want to keep enjoying the services and benefits of marine ecosystems in the future, it is important that economic activities including transport, fishing, offshore energy and tourism are better managed and controlled.

Even though Europe's seas contribute highly to our economic and social well-being by offering a diverse array of species, habitats and ecosystems, they are threatened by human activities. In order to protect Europe's seas from irreversible damage the European Environment Agency (EEA) published 'Marine messages' that gives an overview of the current state-of-affairs of European seas and our use of them. Benjamin Boteler and Dr. Manuel Lago from the Ecologic Institute contributed to this report. The brochure is available for download.

If nothing is done about it, we will cause adverse change to the health of the ecosystems due to over-exploitation of natural resources, causing biodiversity loss, and climate change. One part of addressing these problems is to improve the effectivness of policies and their implementation. Therefore the EU developed the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), which entered into force in 2008 and aims to maintain biodiversity and clean and healthy marine ecosystems. It provides an ecosystem-based approach and adaptive process to management, which should help to meet the complex challenges related to Europe's seas.



Reker, Johnny; Constança de Carvalho Belchior; Trine Christiansen 2014: Marine messages. Our seas, our future - moving towards a new understanding. European Environment Agency: Copenhagen.

Johnny Reker, EEA
Constança de Carvalho Belchior, EEA
Trine Christiansen, EEA

Contributors from the ETC/ICM were:

Sabrina Agnesi, Aldo Annunziatellis, Benjamin Boteler, Lidija Globevnik, Norman Green, Jane Hawkridge, Hans Mose Jensen, Ana Jesus, Manuel Lago, Giulia Mo, Andreja Palatinus, Periklis Panagiotidis, Monika Peterlin, Gerjan Piet, Theo Prins, Claudette Spiteri, Beth Stoker, Frank Thomsen, and Argyro Zenetos.

Additional input was received from:

David Connor, Nigel Smith and Fotios Papoulias (DG Environment) and Anton Gazenbeek (DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries)

32 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

European seas - diverse in every way
EU policy visions for our seas
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive
Healthy seas?
Marine climate change impacts
Clean and undisturbed seas?
Productive seas
Marine knowledge - towards a baseline
Reaching our policy objectives?
Towards a new understanding
Authors and acknowledgements
List of abbreviations and acronyms
Selected references