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.

The 20th May 2008 was the first European Maritime Day, one of several initiatives proposed by the European Commission to celebrate Europe’s maritime heritage and the potential of our oceans and seas. The EU’s new Maritime Policy aims at solving policy conflicts originating from different economic sectors competing for the same maritime space.