Interdisciplinary Research for Good Environmental Status | JPI OCEANS

Interdisciplinary Research for Good Environmental Status

Achieving Good Environmental Status (GES) requires a good understanding of marine ecosystems and how multiple activities impact the environment.


Despite the progress of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, achieving GES requires improvements in several areas. Analysis of the first phase of MSFD implementation has shown that progress is needed to monitor and assess GES more efficiently. It has also shown that Member States need to cooperate more at a regional level to develop comparable indicators and a common understanding of what GES means.

Improvements in technology, monitoring and innovative approaches can be used to develop a better understanding of the GES indicators; in some cases these developments will cover new and emerging threats and pollutants. Robust scientific advice is needed to ensure that regular updates to the understanding of GES are presented to policy makers in an efficient manner.


  • Promote the exchange of knowledge, best practices and cooperation among different countries and networks to contribute to a harmonised, comprehensive assessment and monitoring of human activities, as a basis for implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
  • Act as a hub to address acute risks (including emergencies) and disasters (e.g. related to pollution risks of dumped munitions, shipwrecks etc.) inside and outside the EU by putting in place temporary panels of experts to assess the issues and propose solutions.
  • Research to address gaps in knowledge relating to harmful algae blooms on marine ecosystems, maritime economy and human health. To assess the links between HABs, climate change and human impacts it is necessary to determine the combined effect of short-term decadal-scale climate variation and anthropogenic pressures.



Short term
  • Establish a portal and a flexible system, temporarily engaging experts in hubs to address emergency issues and ensure rapid advice from science to policy on risk assessment and possible scientific and technological solutions.
  • Enhance the networks of research institutions to address current barriers to a common understanding and coherent assessment of GES in European waters.
Long term
  • Research to address the effects of eutrophication and harmful algal blooms (HAB) on marine ecosystems, maritime economy and human health.
  • Research on critical pollutants in the marine environment to inform future GES assessments.

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