Time is ticking. Chances of achieving biologically diverse, clean and healthy seas by 2020 - as required  by the Marine Directive - are decreasing every day if urgent action is not taken. Measures proposed by Member States to achieve this noble commitment are too weak and  lacking in  ambition to  achieve it.  Meanwhile  our seas face increasing pressure.  Action is necessary, now!  

The European Parliament Fisheries Committee today voted on a proposal that will revise legislation on the protection of fisheries resources and marine ecosystems. The proposal merges more than 30 existing regulations and directives, all aimed at minimising the impacts of fishing on ecosystems. However, the proposal seriously weakens or deletes several existing measures.

EU governments and Members of the European Parliament have agreed that Europe should act on ship greenhouse gas emissions from 2023 if the International Maritime Organisation fails to deliver effective global measures.

Calls for urgent action to reduce ship greenhouse gas emissions have been met with heavy push-back by many states and big industry groups meeting at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). A group of Pacific Island and mainly European states clashed repeatedly with those saying that decisions on immediate measures should await the final iteration of the IMO’s comprehensive GHG strategy in 2023, rather than be part of the “initial” strategy in 2018. Green groups Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment, which are members of the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) [1], said the most obvious immediate measure is to regulate ship speed, with the feasibility and effectiveness of slow steaming having been proven during the recession.

New figures shine a light on the massive scale of the single use plastic problem in Europe, a problem that is contributing significantly to the ocean plastic pollution crisis yet could easily be addressed with existing policy solutions. 

Greenhouse gas emissions from three ship types - containerships, bulkers and tankers - could be reduced by a third, on average, by reducing their speed, according to a new independent study that will be presented to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) next week.  The cumulative savings [1] from reducing the speed of these ships alone could, by 2030, be as much as 12% of shipping’s total remaining carbon budget [2] if the world is to stay under the 1.5ºC global temperature rise, the CE Delft study for NGOs Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment, founding members of the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC), found.

Ministers from countries around the world gathered 5-6 October in Malta for the third Our Ocean conference, hosted by the European Commission. They were joined by NGOs, academics and agencies including Seas at Risk and some of our Members.

On 12-13 October in Tallinn, the Estonian presidency of the EU and the European Commission jointly organised a conference on the implementation and future of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. Seas At Risk spoke in support of funding for marine protection to achieve healthy productive seas, the basis for thriving coastal communities.

The EU Marine Directive requires Member States to achieve clean, healthy and productive EU seas by 2020 -  a much needed holistic approach to marine management. However, 2020 is only two years away and NGOs are concerned that action by Member States is too slow and Programmes of Measures  too weak.  Seas At Risk has therefore launched a campaign to get European citizens involved to  encourage EU Ministers to take further action to achieve their noble commitment.

Ahead of the next Agrifish Council, Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat published their recommendations to EU fisheries ministers on Baltic Sea fishing quotas in 2018.