Timelines, expected outcomes and management procedures of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. A discussion of spatial and temporal scales in the management and adaptation to changing climate.
Existing and emerging EU legislation requires member states to adopt the Ecosystem Approach (EA) for the management of their seas and to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) by 2020. The EA is an holistic approach to management and requires the integrated management of ecosystems, human beings, their governance structures and institutions. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (EU 2008) also stresses the importance of adaptive management. The effective practice of the EA in the Baltic Sea will require integration of management of fish stocks with other elements of environmental management. The process of setting achievable environmental targets must also account for highly uncertain changes to the physical and biological environment driven by climate.
This paper clarifies the scope and scale of obligations under the MSFD. It illustrates the spatial and temporal challenges involved in conforming to GES. It identifies characteristics of achievable environmental targets under the MSFD. We combine a literature review on fisheries, eutrophication and climate change with the novel technique of Decision Space Analysis. Using a matrix of timeframes and spatial scales for biological issues and legal processes in the Baltic Sea the elements necessary to set feasible targets for GES were analysed. The methodology focuses on the spatial and temporal consistencies and inconsistencies of ecosystems vis-à-vis the governance systems presently guiding the European seas, i.e. member states, cooperative structures tied to the International Conventions and the European Commission.
Key words: Marine Strategy Framework Directive / Ecosystem Approach / Baltic / Cod / Eutrophication
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011