Protecting the Marine Environment
Europe is a maritime continent, with over 68 000 kilometres of coastline. Its oceans and seas are home to a vast quantity of marine life, from huge cetaceans to microscopic plankton.
The delicate ecosystem of our waters is protected by a wide array of EU legislation, including the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Water Framework Directive and the Habitats Directive, which aim to uphold good environmental status standards and to reduce air and other pollution in coastal communities.
Water pollution aspects are included in legislation like the Ship Source Pollution Directive and the Port Reception Facilities Directive.
In addition, EMSA, since its foundation, has had the prevention of oil pollution at sea as one of its core tasks.
However, maritime transport exerts pressure on the marine environment. Oil pollution, underwater noise, the transport of non-indigenous species, and pollution from chemicals used on ships’ hulls (anti-fouling) are all issues that can negatively impact animals and organisms living underwater.
EMSA plays a role in tackling all these issues, through the provision of tools and services, technical knowledge, and expertise.