The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is intended to "...contribute to coherence between different policies and foster the integration of environmental concerns into other policies, such as the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)".
© Fotolia, Author: Bruno Barracuda
The MSFD explicitly requires fishing activity to be managed so that conservation objectives for the broader marine ecosystem might also be achieved.

EU member states are committed, through the implementation of the CFP and the MSFD, to keep fish populations at biomass levels above those required to produce the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), by exploiting the stocks at appropriate fishing mortality rates in 2015 where possible, and by 2020 for all stocks.

The MSFD requires the application of the ecosystem approach, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle, with the objective of providing ecologically diverse and dynamic oceans and seas, which are clean, healthy and productive. Complementary, the CFP aims at maximum sustainable yield (MSY), with a strong focus on food security, the economic viability of fisheries and fair sharing of the fishing possibilities among the EU Member States.
D3 Commission Decision 2010/477/EU
Populations of all commercially exploited fish and shellfish are within safe biological limits, exhibiting a population age and size distribution that is indicative of a healthy stock.

This section applies for all the stocks covered by Regulation (EC) No 199/2008 (within the geographical scope of Directive 2008/56/EC) and similar obligations under the common fisheries policy. For these and for other stocks, its application depends on the data available (taking the data collection provisions of Regulation (EC) No 199/2008 into account), which will determine the most appropriate indicators to be used. For this descriptor, the three criteria for assessing progress towards good environmental status, as well as the indicators related respectively to them, are the following.

D3 Documents