The Celtic Seas Partnership

Working on the Celtic Sea ©Toby Roxburgh/2020 VISION/WWF Canon

Project summary

The LIFE+ Celtic Seas Partnership has developed out of the PISCES (Partnerships Involving Stakeholders in the Celtic Sea Ecosystem) project which ended in 2012. PISCES sought to introduce an ecosystems approach to marine management across a number of countries, cultures and sectors that was relevant to people operating within and around the Celtic Sea and beyond.

Building on the success of PISCES, the Celtic Seas Partnership is expanding the project to a wider geographical area and will explore a range of practical projects, tools and approaches. The focus of the project will be key European legislation that aims to conserve and protect Europe’s seas while allowing the sustainable use of natural marine resources. It will feed lessons learnt and best practice directly into marine management at a national and European level, offering marine stakeholders the opportunity to help shape and influence how their seas will be managed in the years to come.

Project setting

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires countries to work together to manage their marine environment in a collaborative way. However, there are currently few mechanisms that enable discussion or exchange of information at a cross-border scale for the people that are directly involved in marine activities.  The project will build understanding of the Ecosystem Based Approach to marine management and use best practice case studies to showcase the potential for countries and sectors in the Celtic Seas to work together.

How an ecosystems approach is reflected in the work?

The project takes an integrated approach that considers human activities as part of a single system where all concerns of the environment, society, the economy and institutions are integrated, allowing the wider consequences of each decision to be determined and managed.

Outputs and outcomes

PISCES produced A guide to implementing the ecosystem approach through the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, in October 2012. Focussing on sea users, a multinational, cross-sectoral group of volunteers was directly involved in determining the objectives, scope and content of the guide. An advisory group of international experts also contributed to it.

PISCES also produced an online mapping tool that allows users to view different layers of data describing the Celtic Sea marine environment and that illustrates the human impacts in the area.

Project lead and partners

Lead: WWF-UK

Key partners include:


The LIFE+ Celtic Seas Partnership Project is a four-year, 4 million euro LIFE+ funded project that will run until the end of 2016.

What next?

The ultimate goal is to help achieve the standard of Good Environmental Status for the Celtic Seas region and provide learning and experiences that can be applied to other marine regions around the world.

Further information

You can learn more about this project on the Celtic Seas Partnership website.

Visit the PISCES website.

Download Ecosystem News Issue 3 to read a Q&A on PISCES.

Follow the Celtic Seas Partnership on Twitter @celticseas

Contact: Lyndsey Dodds at csp[at]