Marinet informs the EU Commission of the need for a “strong working definition” of MSFD Descriptor 3

The EU Commission has recently announced a review of the “good environmental status” Descriptors in its Marine Strategy Framework Directive. This review may possibly lead to their “revision” i.e. a new definition of “good environmental status”.

As a result, Marinet has written to the EU Commission, letter dated 26th September 2014, in order to record Marinet’s concern about a possible devaluation of Descriptor 3 which governs commercial fish and shellfish stocks.

Marinet has presented the EU Commission with the scientific evidence which supports a strong working definition of Descriptor 3.

Marinet has outlined to the Commission the consequences on the one hand if the Descriptor is devalued by the present review, and on the other hand the benefits to the fishing industry and EU seas if a strong definition of the Descriptor is supported and put into practice.

Marinet believes that if the MSFD’s Descriptors are rewritten, or devalued by a poor working definition following this present “review”, then the Marine Strategy Framework Directive will become essentially worthless. In other words “good environmental status” for EU seas by 2020 will not be achieved, and will exist only in name but not in practice.

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