Marine planning and coastal zone management require an understanding of the policy context (Cormier et al., 2015) that addresses ecosystem, cultural, social, economic, and legal aspects (Barnard and Elliott, 2015). Policy includes a suite of agreements, legislation, and interpretations that are enabled by policy- making processes and public feed-back (Ehler and Douvere, 2009) , while being informed by scientific and technical knowledge. However, a plan requires the implementation of management measures to carry into effect the objectives set in the said plan (Elliott et al., 2017). It is through leg- islation, regulations, standards, and guidelines that such measures are implemented within an operational context designed to meet expected outcomes to achieve the objectives of the plan and ultimately reach the goals of the policy (Cormier et al., 2017). Without a comprehensive suite of management measures to reduce the pressures that result from human activities, cumulative effects cannot be adequately prevented, leaving protection and conservation measures as the only option to mitigate the effects (Stelzenmüller et al. , 2018). Outside the changes resulting from continuously evolving natural processes, the premise, here, is that cumulative effects reflect the effectiveness management measures implemented across the r elevant sectors of operation and jurisdictions. When cumulative effects and impacts are observed, it implies that the system of management measures and practices across the relevant sectors are not adequately managing the pressures generated by their respective activities (Elliott et al., 2017). Given that cumulative-effects assessments are typically focused on the effects and their impacts, an assessment of the effectiveness of these measures and practices would also be required to get a better understanding of the root causes of such effects and impacts and to improve existing management strategies (de Jonge et al., 2006). Such assessment must also include legislation, regulations, standards, and guidelines that are used to implement measures and guide the practices as these set the scope of the management approaches and objectives for each sector. The scope and objective of current measures and practices may not have considered broader ecosystem considerations at the time they were developed, resulting in cumulative effects and impacts.In contrast to traditional ecosystem and risk - assessment approaches, risk-management processes (ISO, 2009a, 2009b) require that the effectiveness of the controls be assessed to better understand how the management system is addressing actual or potential impacts and consequences. In such a process, the effectiveness of the controls are as- sessed to determine if these are adequate to achieve objectives. As part of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) suite of risk-management standards under ISO 31000 (ISO, 2009a, 2009b), the Bowtie analysis is one of the more than 31 risk - assessment techniques of IEC/ISO 31010 (IEC/ISO, 2009) and is designed to analyse the controls used to manage risks. The Bowtie analysis provides a structure to evaluate procedures, measures, and controls used to prevent and mitigate risk (Mostia, 2009; Markowski and Kotynia, 2011; Badreddine and Ben Amor, 2013). Recently, the Bowtie analysis has been adapted to the analysis of environmental legislation and policies (Cormier et al., 2016; Creed et al., 2016; Elliott et al., 2017). This technique is also a valu- able tool to help stakeholders characterize the risks with which they are concerned and understand how risks are being or could be managed (Chevreau et al., 2006; Gerkens- meier and Ratter, 2016). A series of ICES workshops regarding the qualitative and quantitative use of the Bow-tie analysis in cumulative effects assessment s (ICES, 2014b, 2015, 2016) recommended to elaborate a more detailed Bowtie of existing legislation and policies of a regional European sea integrating the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and 2| ICES Cooperative Research ReportNo. 342 good environmental status criteria (EU, 2008). This report is a case study to demon- strate how the Bowtie analysis can be adapted to the analysis of legislation within a multijurisdictional context from a cumulative- effects assessment perspective. The analysis uses the programme of measures of the MSFD (Annex VI of MSFD ) as the controls to be assessed to achieve and maintain good environmental status for each of the qual- itative descriptors (Annex I of MSFD). Cited instruments under the MSFD are used, as an example, to demonstrate the relevant legislation and regulations involved in the management of the pressures for each relevant descriptor of good environmental sta- tus through the programme of measures. This report is organized to provide guidance for managers and administrators in- volved in the analysis of legislation and policies. The report also provides valuable insight for the scientific community regarding the linkage between cumulative effects and management strategies to prevent effects and mitigate impacts. Readers of this report must understand that this is an example of a policy-analysis exercise. It is an analysis of the hierarchy of management strategies across the qualitative descriptors of good environmental status. It is not an ecosystem model of components, functions, and feedback mechanisms as is typically used to map ecosystem processes.