The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires EU member states, including Ireland, to achieve good environmental status (GES) in the marine environment by the year 2020.
GES in the marine environment means that seas are clean, healthy and productive, and that human use of the marine environment is kept to a sustainable level.
The status assessment of the marine environment and evaluation of GES is carried out every six years. The assessment and associated environmental targets inform decisions about how to use marine resources sustainably.
The achievement or maintenance of GES is supported by the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) objectives and, in particular, the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF).
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government are the competent authority for implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). They have launched a consultation on Ireland's draft MSFD assessment and are seeking submissions from all interested parties by the closing date, 28 February 2020.