United Kingdom


Extended continental shelf 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

Celtic Seas 606,405
Greater North Sea 263,802
Western Mediterranean Sea 86
TOTAL 870,293

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

Marine waters per country

78.1% of the total country area (land & marine)

Marine waters per capita

1.31 ha per capita

According to the UK Withdrawal Agreement which enters into force on 1 February 2020, this site will continue to include information from the United Kingdom until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020

Status of the marine environment

United Kingdom has not yet finalized the reporting under the MSFD 2018 electronic reporting exercise.

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 United Kingdom 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 United Kingdom 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 United Kingdom, where in 2018 most of the bathing waters were excellent or good.