Bulgaria is among European Union member states to have received several recommendations from the European Commission to improve its marine protection measures.
The report listed numerous strengths and weaknesses in Bulgaria’s programme of measures, noting – among other things – that it “includes both existing and new measures that complement those already in place to specifically target pressures on the marine environment which were not otherwise covered”.
But it also noted that Bulgaria “does not always provide sufficient details about the measures (especially the existing ones) to understand how they will contribute to progress towards targets”.
It in its recommendations, the report said that “in general, the Bulgaria should better address certain pressures and activities in its programme of measures”.
In a statement on August 1, the European Commission said that its new report showed that EU countries “have made considerable efforts to address pressures on the marine environment”.
“Despite this, the measures are not yet sufficient to achieve good, healthy and productive seas by 2020.”
The report published on August 1 on the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive assesses the measures put in place by EU countries to achieve “good environmental status” by 2020.
Under the Directive, EU member states are required to set up six-year strategies through which they assess their waters. This concept is defined by measures conserving biodiversity and tackling pressures like overfishing, seabed damage, marine litter and contaminants.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Oceans and seas are essential to the well-being of our planet, and we cannot compromise on their protection.
“This is why the EU has one of the most ambitious marine environment policies in the world. Over the last years, member states have put a lot of effort to ensure that the seas’ resources are used and managed sustainably, relying a lot on regional cooperation.
“Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the measures taken so far are not yet sufficient to achieve good, healthy and productive seas by 2020. I therefore urge member states to take heed of the recommendations made by the Commission to move a step closer to achieving this goal,” Vella said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)