Marine life has been and is still under pressure from human activities across Europe’s seas. The combined effects from multiple pressures on marine species and habitats reduce the overall resilience of marine ecosystems.

  • EU law requires marine ecosystems to be in ‘Good Environmental Status’, or good condition, meaning ‘ecologically diverse and dynamic, clean, healthy and productive’ but this is not the case
  • Marine species and habitats are not in good condition; more efforts are needed to achieve the sustainable use of Europe’s marine resources and ensure their availability for future generations
  • EU countries have reduced some marine pressures in the last decades, but marine ecosystems are still impacted by multiple pressures from human activities at sea and on land
  • Globally, oceans are changing. Ocean warming (0.88°C higher in 2011-2020 compared to 1850-1900), oxygen loss (down 3-4% by 2100) and ocean acidification (decreased pH by 30% in 2023 compared to 1700) may be occurring at a speed that may be too fast for species to adapt to the changes.
  • Semi-enclosed seas and shallow coastal areas are more vulnerable to climate change - the Baltic Sea and the Adriatic Sea for example - compared to deeper, offshore areas.