Task groups
This report presents the findings of the task group addressing Descriptor 2 with the aim of establishing the scientific basis for the development of criteria and methodological standards by which Member States would need to assess the state of their marine and coastal waters and to achieve Good Environmental Status.
In-depth assessment
List of key issues derived from the in-depth assessment for D2.

Issues on implementation

Suggestion

Potential actions/actors

Level of MSFD D2 integration with the COM(2013) 620 final on a proposed regulation for the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species

Require coordination of the MSFD and the future NIS regulation to avoid duplicates and to ensure the achievement of GES and the prevention and management of NIS

Commission with MS

Vectors and pathways

Assessment in relation to NIS on regional and interregional level, given the transboundary nature of NIS pressure.

Encouragement of bilateral and regional cooperation/ RSC; ENV; MS

Inconsistency and uncertainty in reported list of NIS

A common reference NIS database should be consulting the MS, working on agreed standards for NIS identification, validation and early notification Adaptation of methodologies, indicators,  state characteristics on regional level

EASIN could play the role of the EU NIS database / ENV & JRC

HELCOM could be considered as a good practice on MSFD implementation for NIS

HELCOM approach to be adopted or to inspire other RSC, if applicable; HELCOM NIS indicators to be validated in other regions

RSC

Issues on methods

Suggestion

Potential actions/actors

Low availability and reporting on methods related to NIS

Development of new methods and tools covering both Criteria and the three COM DEC indicators for D2. Wider spatial  exploitation of existing methods e.g. Biopollution level index

Follow relevant EU projects working on development and assessment of new or well established methods e.g. DEVOTES, MG4GES/ JRC CC4GES; ENV; R&I

Issues on reporting

Suggestion

Potential actions/actors

Differences between MS' paper reports and reporting sheets; missing or not adequately reported information; similar information is reported under different fields; Different level of detail in the reported information

Reporoting sheets should reflect the MS' paper report, since they consist an electronic way of reporting the qualitative and quantitative data and not an independent one. The required information in the reporting sheets could be significantly reduced and the process could be automated by using drop-down boxes with specific option

Updated guidance on reporting with reduced and more specific fields/ ENV

Inconsistency in reports regarding Article 8, 9 & 10 implementation

Clear links should be made between Art. 8 & 9 and 10 of MSFD and specific measurable methods and associated thresholds should be reported to facilitate the evaluation of GES achievement, of targetsí efficiency and the implementation of MSFD in general.

Updated guidance on reporting with reduced and more specific fields; COM Decision revision; EU funded projects/ ENV; MS; JRC CC4GES

Improving the efficiency and homogeneity of electronic sheets; improve data access and data management for the MS evaluation of MSFD implementation (Art. 12)

Coherence in reporting to allow for accurate and meaningful IDA

Improve electronic forms, data & metadata availability / MS & ENV

Review of Commission Decision 2010/477/EU
This report is the result of a scientific and technical review of Commission Decision 2010/477/EU in relation to Descriptor 2. The review has been carried out by the EC JRC together with experts nominated by EU Member States, and has considered contributions from the GES Working Group in accordance with the roadmap set out in the MSFD implementation strategy.
Strategy collaboration with other relevant policies
With the exception of the EU Regulation concerning the use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture (EU, 2007) and its implementing rules (EU, 2008), no comprehensive instrument existed on EU level to tackle alien species until recently. 

The Regulation No 1143/2014/EU, published in 2014, establishes rules to prevent, minimise and mitigate the adverse impact on biodiversity of the intentional and unintentional introduction and spread within the EU of IAS.
Other relevant EU legislations are: (i) the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC), (ii) the Habitats Directive (92/43/EC), (iii) the Phytosanitary Directive (2000/29/EC), (iv) the Regulation on wild species trade (1997/338/EC),(v) the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and the Directive on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof (2006/88/EC). These six legislative instruments are not focused on NIS but partly cover the issue by requiring their consideration in the frame of restoration of biodiversity conservation status, ecological conditions and animal health.