Marine waters

This map draws on information provided by the Member State to represent its marine waters, according to Article 3(1) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC). This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be considered as the official boundary delimitation between neighboring countries. Jurisdictional borders are the sole responsibility of Member States. The European Commission and European Environment Agency have no responsibility on this matter.

Marine waters in km2

Bay of Biscay & Iberian Coast 188,487
Celtic Seas 43,333
Greater North Sea 28,291
Western Mediterranean Sea 110,635
TOTAL 370,746

France is part of the following Regional Sea Convention(s):

Marine waters per country

36.7% of the total country area (land & marine)

Marine waters per capita

0.55 ha per capita

Status of the marine environment

France has assessed the environmental status of a number of features per descriptor under the 2018 update of MSFD Article 8, which were reported electronically to the European Commission. The following dashboard shows the marine waters' area where, for those features, the Good Environmental Status has been achieved, not yet achieved or is unknown or not assessed.

This overview of the French 2018 scientific assessment displays many features as unknown or not assessed, which does not account for the extensive assessment work done by scientists. More detailed information is available through the WISE Marine country-thematic dashboards.

Failure to provide assessments at the feature level highlights the need for further guidance in the forthcoming reporting exercises, regarding all the specific information to be reported at each assessment level as well as the integration rules of lower-level assessments.

Status of marine species and habitats

The conservation status of the habitats and species listed in the Habitats Directive annexes has to be assessed and reported to the European Commission under Article 17 every 6 years. The assessment is based on information about the status and trends of species populations and of habitats at the level of the biogeographical or marine region. In the following dashboard, the assessments reported by France are presented, where they can be displayed as status or status and trend.

The current dashboard is showing the information from the 2013 reporting exercise. It will be updated in the second half of 2020 with the information from the 2019 reporting exercise.

Ecological and chemical status of transitional, coastal and territorial waters

The ecological status of the water bodies is based on biological quality elements and supported by physico-chemical and hydromorphological quality elements. On the other hand, the good chemical status is achieved when no concentrations of priority substances exceed the relevant EQS established in the Environmental Quality Standards Directive. The results reported by France on the first and second River Basin Management Plans are presented in the dashboard below.

Status of bathing waters in transitional and coastal sites

The bathing waters sites are monitored under the Bathing Water Directive in regards to the values of two microbiological parameters (Intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli) and the results are reported on a yearly basis to the European Commission. Where a bathing water is classified as 'poor', Member States should take measures such as banning bathing or advising against it, providing information to the public, and taking suitable corrective actions. The dashboard displays the results reported by France, where in 2018 most of the bathing waters were excellent or good.