Data & products on marine water quality


EMODnet is a fundamental infrastructure to fulfill data and information needs for countless, heterogenous purposes; the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC, MSFD) represents one of the most important.
The MSFD was adopted in 2008 by the European Union in order to protect more effectively the marine environment. It aims to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) of the EU's marine waters by 2020 and to protect the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend.

The MSFD includes:

  • Initial assessment of the environmental status, impacts, and socio-economic analysis of human activities;
  • Determination of GES;
  • Establishment of targets and associated criteria and indicators;
  • Establishment of a monitoring programme;
  • Development of a programme of measures to achieve or maintain GES.

MSFD cyclical process, started again in 2018

The MSFD criteria and indicators are defined on the base of the following 11 qualitative descriptors :

Determining these descriptors requires a large variety of harmonized, high quality, open data and information. EMODnet Chemistry gives a significant contribution for determining MSFD descriptors 5 (eutrophication), 8 (chemical pollution), 9 (contaminants in seafood), and 10 (marine litter).

The MSFD has outlined different European marine regions and subregions to foster the development of marine strategies, according to geographical and environmental features.

MSFD Regions and related subregions below

EMODnet Chemistry data harvesting covers an extensive geographical marine area, including all MSFD regions and subregions.

EMODnet Chemistry contributes to the MSFD implementation as testified by a conspicuous number of Use Cases