Defra, the Northern Ireland executive, the Scottish government 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 programme of measures proposals 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, seafloor integrity, hydrographical conditions, contaminants, contaminants in fish and other seafood, marine litter and introduction of energy (including underwater noise).
The consultation does not cover the initial assessment of the state of the UK’s seas and GES characteristics, targets and indicators. These were covered in a previous consultation and the UK’s approach is documented in the Marine Strategy Part One published in December 2012 (www.gov.uk/government/publications/marine-strategy-part-one-uk-initial-assessment-and-good-environmental-status).
The consultation also does not cover the UK’s marine monitoring programme. This was completed in July 2014 with the publication of the Marine Strategy Part Two (www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341146/msfd-part-2-final.pdf).
Our target audiences are groups or individuals who use the sea for whatever purpose, or have an interest in it, business users of the sea, national and local interest groups, and governments in other EU member states.
The MSFD requires that member states put in place measures to achieve or maintain GES in their seas by 2020. GES involves protecting the marine environment, preventing its deterioration and restoring it where practical, while using marine resources sustainably.
Given the strong links between implementation of MSFD and other policy areas, interested parties may also wish to respond to the following related consultations:
– the implementation of the demersal landing obligation (https://consult.defra.gov.uk/fisheries/demersal-landing-obligation-in-england)
– the second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones (https://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/tranche2mczs)
– the river basin management plans under the Water Framework Directive (England and Wales: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/update-to-the-draft-river-basin-management-plans; Scotland: www.sepa.org.uk/water/river_basin_planning.aspx; and Northern Ireland: www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/water-home/rbp_water_framework_directive/2015-water-framework-directive.htm)
These proposals will contribute towards achieving Good Environmental Status in our seas under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
How to respond:
Consultees can respond using the online survey (please see below).
Alternatively written responses can be submitted to:
Marine Strategy Framework Directive Implementation team
Area 8B Millbank
17 Smith Square
Or via email: MSFDteam@defra.gsi.gov.uk