Issued in November by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the map depicts boundaries of marine regions and subregions across EU seas as laid down in the MSFD. The aim of the tool is to help Member States, stakeholders and the European Commission and its agencies put both the MSFD and the Marine Spatial Planning Directive into practice through streamlining data and knowledge across policies and research platforms.
The map, which was formally adopted by EU Member States after their release, were the result of developmental work by both ICES and the European Union's Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV). Its borders have been aligned with the sea areas of the MSP directive and the biogeographic regions identified in the Habitats Directive as well as, to the greatest extent possible, those of the Regional Sea Conventions. ICES ecoregions were also revised in 2015 to be in line with these MSFD regions.
The final version is now available online and can be viewed through a number of programmes including ArcGIS and Google Earth.