Monitoring programme response to submissions received
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)
Responsibility for the Directive
Impact of the Directive


OSPAR Marine Litter Survey 2016

To whom it may concern

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government is inviting tenders to conduct the OSPAR Marine Litter Survey for 2016. The successful tenderer will submit findings in accordance with the attached OSPAR guidelines. It is important to note that an initial survey must be undertaken in January 2016 at four predetermined locations (coordinates supplied).

Three further quarterly surveys will be undertaken during 2016. Please see following tender document and OSPAR guidance for further details:-

The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 11 December 2015 @ 12 o’clock, midday. Sealed tenders should be addressed to the undersigned with the envelope marked ‘Tender for Marine Litter Contract 2016’

Philip Donovan,
Water Quality Section,
Dept. of Environment, Community & Local Government,
Newtown Road,


Marine Strategy Framework Directive

On the 29th October 2013, the DECLG launched a public consultation process relating to Ireland’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive Article 19 Report: Initial Assessment, GES, Targets and Indicators, together with an associated Summary Report and Ireland’s Marine Atlas. The period of public consultation was from the 29th October 2013 until the 10th January 2014. As part of the consultation procedure, the DECLG hosted a one-day stakeholder consultation workshop on the 11th November 2013 on the implementation of the MSFD in Ireland.

The DECLG would like to thank all individuals and organisations who participated in the consultation process.

With the assistance of the MSFD Technical Working Group, submissions received were reviewed by this Department and the document below “Response to Submissions – MSFD Initial Assessment Consultation” is the response to this element of the public consultation process for the MSFD. 

Many comments made during this round of consultation related to future aspects of MSFD implementation, such as the establishment of monitoring programmes and the development of programmes of measures.  These aspects of the Directive are currently being developed and will be subject of future public consultation.  Nonetheless, any such comments received are noted and are currently being taking into consideration as part of the on-going development of monitoring programme and the programme of measures.

It is proposed that Ireland’s Initial Draft Monitoring Programme will be published for Public Consultation in mid July 2014. When this Draft is available, your comments and feedback would be welcomed in informing the finalisation of the Monitoring Programme and future phases of the MSFD process.

Water Quality Section
June 2014

Response to Submissions - Marine Strategy Framework Directive Initial Assessment Consultation (pdf, 813kb)



Public Consultation on Marine Strategy Framework Directive – Initial Assessment (Articles 19.2a & b Report)



The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive is a major piece of EU legislation that requires Member States to achieve good environmental status (GES) in the marine environment  by the year 2020 at the latest. 

Good environmental status in the marine environment means that the seas are clean, healthy and productive and that human use of the marine environment is maintained at a sustainable level. 

The Directive requires an assessment to be made of our marine waters against an agreed set of standards across a number of important environmental areas (e.g. biodiversity, fish stocks, and contaminants).  Once the assessment is made, appropriate environmental targets and indicators  must be established and programmes of measures put in place to achieve GES in accordance with the following timeframe:

Overarching Objectives and Target Dates

  • Transposition of the Directive  - July 2010 –  Completed
  • Complete Initial Assessment of Irish marine waters; establish environmental targets and indicators - July 2012 - Completed
  • Establish a Monitoring Programme - July 2014
  • Establish a Programme of Measures to achieve GES - 2015
  • Implementation of these measure by 2016

Responsibility for the Directive


The Directive is very similar to the Water Framework Directive but for the marine environment. 

Because of the cross-cutting nature of marine issues, four other Departments are intrinsically linked into the process – Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food (DAMF), Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR).  In addition, the Marine Institute (MI) will have a major role to play in the delivery of the Directive. 

Impact of the Directive

While the primary purpose of the Directive is to protect and preserve the Marine Environment, proper implementation of it will be a pre-requisite for the sustainable development of the areas identified for the development of Ireland’s ocean economy:

  • Shipping
  • Maritime transport
  • Water based tourism
  • Sea fisheries
  • Aquaculture
  • Oil
  • Gas
  • Renewable energy (including, wind and wave).

While the full impact of the Directive will not be known until after the completion of the Initial Assessment, when we will have a more comprehensive view of the status of our waters, all of the sectors above come within the scope of the Directive.  The results of the assessment, therefore, may have implications for the management of fuel emissions, marine litter, engine noise, fisheries etc.  These would be reflected in the programme of measures to be drawn up by 2015.


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