European marine regions include the north-east Atlantic and Arctic oceans, and the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic seas. Human activities — such as fishing, aquaculture and agriculture — and climate change cause large and severe impacts on Europe's coastal and marine ecosystems.
The EU objective of halting biodiversity loss by 2010 has not been met in either the coastal or the marine environment. Recognising the need for an integrated ecosystem-based approach to reduce pressures, the EU Integrated Maritime Policy allows for the development of sea-related activities in a sustainable manner. Its environmental pillar, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, aims to deliver 'good environmental status' of the marine environment by 2020, and the Common Fisheries Policy will be reformed in 2012 with the aim of achieving sustainable fisheries. Complementary policy efforts include the EU Water Framework Directive and other freshwater legislation, and the Habitats and Birds Directives.