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STAGES MSFD Survey Results now Available on the Marine Knowledge Gate


The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) outlines 11 key qualitative descriptors to guide European Member States with regard to achieving overall Good Environmental Status (GES) in their marine waters by 2020. Although significant advances are being made in marine research which can support environmental assessment, there is a significant knowledge deficit for certain descriptors which may influence implementation of the MSFD and the achievement of GES in European waters.

One of the main objectives of the FP7-funded STAGES (Science and Technology Advancing Governance on Good Environmental Status) project is to ensure that knowledge from marine research with relevance to MSFD implementation is gathered and made easily available to policy makers and the wider MSFD stakeholder community.

Knowledge GateThe results of an extensive online survey conducted by STAGES to identify existing knowledge in relation to aspects of the MSFD are now available on the Marine Knowledge Gate ( – a major public online repository of marine research in Europe, which has been upgraded through the STAGES project.

The STAGES survey targeted marine research with European and national funding from 13 EU Programmes and 25 European coastal countries (please see Notes for Editors section for further details), which started in line with the inception of the Marine Strategy (from 2005 onwards). Around 4,000 projects were surveyed with a response rate of circa 32% (around 1,200 responses). Of these, almost 800 projects indicated relevance to the MSFD.

The Marine Knowledge Gate contains a profile of each surveyed project and, where available, it also offers information on the specific results or “Knowledge Outputs” from the research activities. Records can also be filtered by funding level and programme, start and end year, allocated funding, countries and institutions involved, type, potential end users, and sectors to benefit from corresponding Knowledge Outputs.

Several search options provide easy access to information from the projects which indicated relevance to the MSFD through the STAGES survey, including a homepage graph which groups them by GES Descriptor (; the MSFD related projects can also be searched by relevance to specific marine regions (please see Notes for Editors section for further details). The update module allows project coordinators to include a profile and MSFD-related information about their projects at any time and will remain functional beyond the lifetime of the STAGES project.

For more information about the Marine Knowledge Gate, please contact EurOcean project officer for STAGES, Maica Garriga (

For more information about STAGES please visit or contact Marisa Fernández Cañamero, STAGES Coordinator (, or Raquel Diez Arenas ( from Centro Tecnológico del Mar - Fundación CETMAR (


Notes for Editors

The STAGES project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 308473. STAGES is directly responding to a request from DG Environment to put a support action in place to facilitate the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The STAGES consortium involves eight partners in seven countries and is being coordinated by the Centro Tecnológico del Mar (CETMAR) in Spain.

The STAGES survey encompassed projects from 13 EU programmes: FP6; FP7; LIFE; Interreg III & IV; ENPI CBC; IPA CBC; ESPON; INTERACT; COST; EUROCORES; EFF grants; and IMP grants. It also included projects from regional organisations: HELCOM and Black Sea, and nationally-funded projects from 25 European coastal countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

The Marine Knowledge Gate is a major dynamic searchable web portal of marine research projects in Europe containing around 4,300 projects (2,000 with European funding and 2,300 with national funding) and 1,800 Knowledge Outputs. It includes the 4,000 projects surveyed by STAGES, of which almost 800 indicated relevance to the MSFD. MSFD-related research is presented either by relevance to the 11 Qualitative Descriptors of GES (D1. Biological diversity, D2. Non-indigenous species, D3. Commercial fish, D4. Food webs, D5. Eutrophication, D6. Sea-floor integrity, D7. Hydrographical conditions, D8. Contaminants and pollution effects, D9. Contaminants in fish and other seafood, D10. Marine litter, and D11. Underwater noise/energy), or by relevance to six marine regions including Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, North-east Atlantic, All Marine Regions and Others.

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