Task groups
The implementation of MSFD Descriptor D11 is followed and supported by the MSFD Technical Group on Underwater Noise (TG Noise).

As a follow up to the Commission Decision on criteria and methodological standards on good environmental status (GES) of marine waters (Commission Decision 2010/477/EU), the Marine Directors requested the Directorate-General for the Environment (DG ENV) in 2010 to establish a technical subgroup under the Working Group on GES (WG GES) in relation to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC (MSFD) for further development of Descriptor 11 Noise/Energy. 

In 2013, the group was upgraded to Technical Group directly reporting to the Marine Strategy Coordination group (MSCG) and the mandate and work programme was updated according to the current MSFD CIS Work Programme 2014. 

The TG Noise is led by DG ENV and chaired by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Directorate-General for Spatial and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, of the United Kingdom. The group consists of Member State delegates, relevant organizations and invited experts.
The TG Noise group reviews scientific developments, provides guidance, and supports harmonisation of efforts across Europe. The minutes of its meetings are available below:
In 2014, TG Noise provided further advice on the actual progress of monitoring and a list of recommendations has been provided, related to the implementation of monitoring, standardization, and review of the Commission Decision and on a possible roadmap towards describing GES.
In addition, TG Noise provided advice for the review of the Commission Decision and WG GES at end of 2014 with a discussion document that provided the rationale for deciding on new criteria. This document also includes the Annex 'Criteria for the selection of new GES criteria is here available:
In-depth assessment
List of key issues derived from the JRC in-depth assessment of the Member States' submissions for MSFD articles 8, 9 and 10 on contaminants.

Issues on reporting


Potential actors

Wide heterogeneity in the kind of information reported.

Common understanding on the kind of data needed and how it should be collected.

TG Noise

High variability in the way of presenting the data.

Establishment of a harmonized, concise and well-organized report delivery process adapted to the identified requirements.


Significant differences in the information contained in the two pathways of information within the same country.

Report through one pathway in electronic format.


Difficulties to understand whether information is missing or it has not been reported.

Allow through reporting process a clear identification of lack of data.


Issues on methodologies


Potential actors

Inconsistencies in methodological approaches, thresholds and limits.


Common agreed identification of appropriate and comparable approaches and parameters to ensure a minimum level of coherence. Ensure common understanding, providing rules and guidance.

MS, TG Noise

Spatial inconsistency within and among MS regarding coastal-offshore data.

Assessment of both coastal and offshore waters with clear boundaries and appropriate thresholds.

MS, TG Noise

Issues on implementation


Potential actors

Conceptual problems in the interpretation of criteria and indicators. Consideration of energy input.

Development of concrete definitions and guidance to facilitate the interpretation of those issues and terms that have been found to be unclear.


Definitions of GES and environmental targets often not existing.

Coherence in reporting GES and targets and through jointly developed guidance.