European NGOs Seas At Risk, BirdLife, Greenpeace, IFAW, Oceana and WWF have issued a common statement on the new European Maritime Policy, advocating that environmental legislation, namely the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, should be at the heart of all maritime initiatives.

Brussels, 23rd May 2008. With fishermen in France, Spain and Portugal pressing their governments for state aid to help with rising fuel bills, Seas At Risk is calling on all European governments to refuse to provide such environmentally harmful subsidies.

Seas At Risk is concerned that the 110 million euros of state aid promised by the French government will be used in this way, and that other European governments will follow suit.

The NGO networks which work for the protection of the European seas will meet in Rome, during the celebrations of the European Maritime Day. They will discuss the future role of the Integrated Maritime Policy in achieving good environmental status in all European marine regions by 2020.