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Programme for improved water quality in North Sea and Baltic Sea

Senate agrees package of measures to boost maritime emergency planning and management

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) of North German states and the federal government aims to protect the North Sea and Baltic Sea. And Hamburg’s senate has agreed to a package of measures limiting mankind’s overall toll on the oceans to a sustainable level and after settling competitive disadvantages.

Planned measures

The planned measures include, for instance, regulations on discharging and disposal of waste waters from ships anti-pollution control devices, preventing and combating marine pollution, improving emergency planning and management, making marine garbage a cornerstone of lessons as well as reducing the amounts of existing rubbish in the seas. Another aim is to reduce the impairment of marine species and their habitats and to stop the increased nutrient enrichment of coastal waters with fertilizing elements from rivers including the Elbe.

Four-year plan

Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment, said: “This senate decision puts us on the path towards improving water quality in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. We have now passed a timetable for a package of measures with the North German coastal states and the federal government. This can now be launched.” Based on the directive, the objective is to attain a sustainable, “good” environmental standard in the North Sea and Baltic Sea within four years and to prevent deterioration. The criteria for assessing the condition of the seas include biological diversity and stress parameters such as underwater noise and rubbish among others.

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