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.

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.

Increasing levels of man-made greenhouse gases are leading to global climate change with catastrophic long-term implications for the marine environment. Stopping the rise in temperatures is the most important and urgent task facing mankind and requires action by all industries including shipping and fishing.

London, 7th April 2008. Last week the International Maritime Organisation successfully negotiated an end to the use by ships of polluting residual heavy fuel oil but made little progress on greenhouse gas emissions.

London, 31st March 2008. The 57th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee starts today in London, and GHG emissions from shipping is a key item on the agenda.

Bottom trawl fishing on the high seas is the most immediate and widespread threat to the unique and vulnerable biodiversity of the deep sea in international waters. For this reason Seas At Risk and many scientists, NGOs, and national authorities have been calling for the United Nations to establish a moratorium or temporary prohibition to provide protection for unique and largely unknown deep water areas of high biodiversity, e.g., seamounts, until effective and legally-binding measures can be put in place.

Santa Barbara, 14th February 2008. A global map of total human impact on the oceans shows that no area of the ocean is unaffected and over 40% experiences high levels of human influence.

Brussels, 19th December 2007. Political short-termism triumphed again last night when the Fisheries Council continued its annual tradition of ignoring scientific advice and authorising continued over-fishing.