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.

A high proportion of marine species and habitats continues to be in ‘unfavorable conservation status’ against the requirements of the EU Habitats Directive. Many assessments under that directive are actually reported as ‘unknown conservation status’. The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive’s objective of ‘achieving good environmental’ status, requiring certain pressure reductions and a certain condition of marine ecosystem components, in all EU marine waters by 2020 has not been achieved in relation to marine biodiversity.

Where consistent, long-term management efforts are implemented and monitored, however, some positive effects on key species are observed, although this may be limited to specific areas. For example the banning of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) resulting in the recovery the white tailed eagle in parts of the Baltic Sea after 35 years of efforts' to 'For example, the banning of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) has resulted in the recovery the white tailed eagle in parts of the Baltic Sea after 35 years of efforts.

Member States need to ensure full implementation of existing political commitments to halt the loss of marine biodiversity by 2030, including closing data gaps and through the provision of reliable indicators for marine biodiversity.

This portal section offers specific assessments of: