EU agency warns over threat to seas

5th March 2014


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Water ,
  • Natural resources ,
  • Biodiversity ,
  • Ecosystems

Author

Rachel M Starling

Europe's marine habitats could be "irreversibly damaged" if efforts are not made to combat the impacts of the fishing, offshore energy, tourism and transport sectors, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA)

The EEA's warning comes in a new report, Marine messages, which reveals that less than 20% of European marine habitats and species are considered to be of “good environmental status”.

The report finds that seas often face different issues, with the Baltic and Black Seas affected by eutrophication, for example, while trawling in the North Sea has destroyed ecosystems.

The EEA concludes that it is the cumulative effect of impacts rather than a single issue that is the biggest threat to the bloc’s seas and calls on member states to implement the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) in a more consistent way.

In the long-term, however, it states that reducing pressures on the bloc’s marine environment will require a fundamental shift to “more sustainable ways of living, producing and consuming”.


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