Marine Strategy 

Here you can find more information about our Marine strategy like, MSFD & Recovering marine litter.

Marine Strategy Framework Directive 

Regarding the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), EUCC has been actively involved from the beginning on the issue of Marine Litter and Underwater noise, in particular. Member States were expected to design and implement their monitoring programmes; in respect to these Descriptors 10 – Marine litter and 11- Underwater Noise they rely until a great extent on the recommendations of the technical groups, that EUCC has also been an expert member and has supported the activities of both TG Marine Litter and Underwater Noise under a specific contract (see list of ongoing projects). The main activities during 2016 were to provide technical support to the technical groups: the MSFD-Technical Group on Marine Litter (TG- ML) and MSFD Technical Group Underwater Noise (TG Noise). During 2016, we mobilized our expert knowledge, especially on marine litter and underwater noise. In particular, EUCC has continue to support the preparation of technical documents related to these topics. EUCC lead the production of the Technical report: Identifying sources of marine litter and the edition and contributions to the reports Socio-economic and environmental harm of marine litter and Riverine Litter Monitoring - Options and Recommendations. In addition, and as a result of several projects in this field, EUCC has become one of the expert organisations in marine litter and underwater noise and their impacts on biodiversity and provide support to the implementation of the MSFD and the process towards reaching a Good Environmental Status; and to further provide specialist advice to the MSFD Common Implementation Strategy by participating in the MSFD Working Groups GES, the TSG Marine Litter & Underwater noise.

Specific objectives of our work are:

  • To contribute to the implementation of the MSFD, in respect to Descriptor 10 – Marine Litter; bridging and disseminating other relevant initiatives.
  • To contribute to the design and implementation of the Marine Litter Regional Action Plans for the North East Atlantic (particularly North Sea sub-region) and the Mediterranean.
  • To increase public awareness regarding the ecological, socio-economic and human health impacts of our consumption and disposal behaviour and promote a more responsible behaviour, following the hierarchy proposed by the Waste Framework Directive: prevention>re-use>recycling>disposal.
  • Facilitate the bridging among stakeholders and different sectors in order to promote a more circular economy, prevent and re-value waste and its impacts.
  • To contribute to the implementation of the MSFD, in respect to Descriptor 11 – Underwater Noise; bridging with other relevant initiatives.

Ongoing Initiatives

Project - Administrative, organisational and technical support for the Technical Sub-Groups on Marine Litter and Underwater Noise (2015-ongoing) EUCC lead the execution of this service as part of the Framework contract ENV.D.2/FRA/2012/0025 for services related to “Emerging pressures, human activities and measures in the marine environment (including marine litter)“.


The overall objective of this contract is to address the emerging pressures and emerging human activities and related measures in the marine environment with the view to informing and assisting Member States in the preparation of their national programme of measures to achieve or maintain good environmental status, as provided for by Article 13 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD: 2008/56/EC). The objective of the service contract, was to provide administrative, organisational and logistic support to the Technical Sub Groups on Marine Litter and Underwater Noise, which included:

  • Organising and providing secretarial services for the periodic meetings of the technical sub- groups on Marine Litter and Underwater Noise, throughout 2013 and 2014.
  • Supporting the technical sub-groups in their reporting obligations to the Working Group on GES, including coordinating input from group members and editing of the Guidance Reports for MS and assisting the exchange of information on on-going activities in the TSGs.
  • Organising a one day training workshop for Member States on the monitoring of underwater noise is and iv) maintaining a clear and effective web-based working platform for each of the two TSGs, to support communication activities within the groups.

Financing Agency: European Commission DG ENV

Recovering Marine Litter

Healthy Seas a journey from waste to wear (ECNC group) (2013 - ongoing). The Healthy Seas initiative is a joint venture of a non-governmental organization (ECNC Group) and two businesses (the Aquafil Group and Star Sock) in it’s journey from waste to wear. Healthy Seas recovers abandoned fishing nets that pollute our seas and coasts and regenerate the nylon into high- quality yarn which is turned into brand new sustainable textiles. Healthy Seas non-profit activities include the recovery of fishing nets by volunteer divers and their storage in special facilities, in addition to educational and prevention programs. In 2016 the fishing net recovery took place in Belgium, United Kingdom, Malta, Greece, Italy and The Netherlands.

75 volunteer divers and 650 fishing boats recovered and collected a total of 152 tons of fishing nets. For preventing marine litter, we collaborate with fishermen, fish farms, local communities and other stakeholders to prevent waste nets from ending up in the sea. Together we work on measures to dispose of nets in a responsible yet affordable way. We also work on raising public awareness of the environmental damage caused by ghost fishing gear and promote the ecological and economic importance of healthy seas.

Main Financing Agency: Aquafil Group, via ECNC Land & Sea Group EEIG , Adessium Foundation and partners like Star Sock, Desso, Interface and Kaufland.