The marine environment is a vital resource for life on Earth as it performs a number of key environmental functions. However, our oceans and seas are under threat from over-fishing, sea-floor damage, pollution by nutrient enrichment and contaminants, the spread of non-indigenous species, marine litter and underwater noise. Find out more about these pressures and their cumulative effects on Europe’s Seas in the latest technical report.

In addition to implementing a large number of EU marine environment policies and legislation that tackle the above-mentioned pressures, the European Union has established marine protected areas. These are geographically distinct zones for which protection objectives exist. The EEA has developed a dedicated briefing on these marine protected areas. A wide collection of marine data is also available through the Marine Information System for Europe (WISE-Marine).  

Please also consult the EEA report Marine Messages II, especially the chapter on solutions.