Marine Strategy Framework Directive

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First found May 22, 2018

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Gary Larson
Gary Larson

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Marine Strategy
Framework Directive
• Background information on the Directive
• Deliverables submitted by Malta to date,
including limitations
• Upcoming deliverables
• Monitoring Programme
• Requirements
Objectives & definitions
To achieve or maintain Good Environmental
Status (GES) in the marine environment by 2020
Marine waters: waters, seabed and subsoil on the
GES: environmental status of marine waters where these
seaward side of the baseline from which the extent of
territorial waters is measured extending to the outmost
reach of the area where a Member State has and/or
exercises jurisdictional rights, in accordance with Unclos…
provide ecologically diverse and dynamic oceans which are
clean, healthy & productive… and the use of the marine
environment is at a level that is sustainable, thus
safeguarding the potential for uses and activities by the
current and future generations
Marine Strategies
Plan of Action
July 2012: Initial Assessment of the current status of
the marine environment:
– Biological, chemical and physical characteristics
– Pressures
– Socio-economic assessment
July 2012: Determination of GES
July 2012: Establishment of Environmental Targets
July 2014: Monitoring Programme
2015: Programme of Measures
Legal Notice 73 of 2011
OPM – Competent Authority
Entrusted technical implementation to MEPA
Issued under the following Acts:
- Environment and Development Planning Act;
- Authority for Transport Malta Act;
- Continental Shelf Act;
- Fisheries Conservation and Management Act;
- Fishing Waters (Designation) and Extended Maritime
Jurisdiction Act;
- Malta Resources Act;
- Territorial Waters and Contiguous Zone Act.
Related Policies
Integrated Maritime Policy
Common Fisheries Policy
Birds Directive
Habitats Directive
Water Framework Directive & daughter directives
Bathing Water Quality Directive
Nitrates Directive
Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive
MARPOL (and other policies related to shipping)
The Barcelona Convention and associated protocols .
Initial Deliverables
MSFD Initial Assessment:
• Assessment (to the extent possible) of the
environmental status of marine waters based on
characteristics and pressures/impacts thereon
Paper reports and reporting sheets on physical and
biological characteristics, pressures and economic
Social and Economic Analysis of the use of marine
waters and of the costs of degradation of the marine
environment carried out by E-Cubed consultants
Initial Assessment
Physical and chemical features
Habitat types (benthic and water column)
Functional groups (mammals, reptiles, birds, fish)
Non-Indigenous Species
Contamination by Hazardous substances
Significant Pollution Events (oil/chemical spills)
Nutrient Enrichment (‘Eutrophication’)
Extraction of Species (Fisheries)
Physical loss and physical damage
Underwater Noise
Marine Litter
Interference with hydrological processes
Microbial pathogens
Green: good status + not
assessed for some
Orange: moderate status
Blue: not assessed
Social and Economic Analysis
• Economic Sectors: Aquaculture, Fisheries, Shipping (including
port operations), tourism, defence, electricity generation,
water abstraction, desalination, cables and pipelines, use of
marine waters as waste and wastewater disposal, marinas,
coastal defence, hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation.
• Methodologies:
- Use of Marine Waters: Marine waters Accounts Approach in
which direct-use economic sectors were assessed both as a
factor of production as well as consumption
- Costs of Degradation: a simplified Ecosystem approach
considering the Gross Value added foregone by sectors using
the marine environment as a result of degradation; scenarios
of degradation were considered to gauge effects on sectoral
and economy Gross Value Added
ESA: Outcome
• approximately 15.4% of the Maltese economy (average 2006-2012) makes
use of the marine environment either as a provider of resources, as an
input into the product or service provided, or as a sink function.
• this economic activity is estimated to cause approximately 11.7% level
deterioration of the marine environment: water transport, tourism and
energy generation, water abstraction, waste and wastewater sectors.
• a loss of 0.4% of Gross Value Added to the Maltese economy due to an
assumed level of degradation (5%) was estimated: fishing and
aquaculture sector, tourism, energy generation, water abstraction,
waste and wastewater sectors
• Assuming that the degradation of the marine environment emanates
from just one of the impact indicators at a time, the strongest decline in
total economy GVA would come from an increased contamination of the
marine waters by hazardous substances followed by other physical
damage, including noise pollution and marine litter, and the systematic
and intentional release of substances.
GES descriptors
Descriptor 1: Biological diversity is maintained.
Descriptor 2: Non-indigenous species
Descriptor 3: Commercially exploited fish and shellfish
Descriptor 4: Marine food webs
Descriptor 5: Eutrophication
Descriptor 6: Sea-floor integrity
Descriptor 7: Alteration of hydrographical conditions
Descriptor 8: Concentrations of contaminants
Descriptor 9: Contaminants in fish and other seafood
Descriptor 10: Marine litter
Descriptor 11: Introduction of energy, including underwater noise
Good Environmental Status
For each GES descriptor:
qualitative statements describing what Good
Environmental Status would mean for Maltese waters.
Formulated by reference to the criteria and
indicators stipulated for each descriptor, which
criteria and indicators will be used to assess progress
towards achievement of GES
Environmental Targets
For each characteristic/pressure:
Targets were established on the basis of the outcome
of the MSFD Initial Assessment with a view to achieve
These targets will form the basis of the Programme
of Measures
No quantitative targets were set: most targets were
trend-based or interim targets aimed at addressing
current data gaps
Data gaps – as a result of limited monitoring and lack
of long-term data:
- Restricted extent of assessment of status
- Restricted use of MSFD criteria and indicators
in assessment/definition of GES
No quantitative thresholds set – GES & targets are
qualitative; Environmental targets are trend-based or
Limited Regional cooperation – GES was not
determined at sub-regional level
Decentralisation of relevant data
Upcoming Deliverables
Monitoring Programme – July 2014
Programme of Measures - 2015
Monitoring Programme
• To assess status – state monitoring – including monitoring of features,
activities and pressures relevant to GES & to assess achievement of
• ERDF used to develop a ‘Marine Monitoring Strategy’ and ‘MSFD
monitoring programme’
• Main objective of the strategy: to harmonise and streamline monitoring
obligations stemming from the MSFD with other existing or merging
monitoring requirements
• Pending:
Filling in of MSFD reporting sheets
Monitoring Factsheets
• Thematic Monitoring factsheets can be compiled on the basis of AEE
Consortium monitoring programme and other monitoring programmes
• standard protocol: facilitate streamlining of reporting and
implementation of the monitoring programme through
contributions by different entities
• integrates monitoring obligations for a particular theme:
clear responsibilities of the different monitoring aspects
ensure resource-efficiency
• facilitate stakeholder/public consultation and updating of
monitoring programmes
• in line with the development of factsheets at regional scale
Programme of Measures
Measures which need to be taken in order to achieve or
maintain GES on the basis of the Initial Assessment and by
reference to the environmental targets
To take into consideration relevant measures required under
Community legislation: WFD, UWWTD, BWQD, EQS Directive
Programme of Measures to give due consideration to
sustainable development and, in particular, to the social and
economic impacts of the measures: economic analyses
Cooperation across Government entities: roles of entities to
be discussed.
Adapt existing monitoring programmes or relevant processes
to contribute to MSFD requirements
Participate in regional cooperation meetings
Work towards quantitative GES and targets

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