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.

Brussels, 11th December 2007. A battle of wills between the Council and the European Parliament ended today with the adoption of a Marine Strategy Directive unfit for the purpose of protecting European Seas and acting as the “environmental pillar” of the EU’s new maritime policy.

Since the adoption of the Commission’s first communication on maritime safety - "A Common Policy on Safe Seas" - which in 1993 aimed at ensuring that all ships flying under the flag of an EU Member State or entering an EU port comply with international safety standards, the European Community has constantly developed and intensified its maritime safety policy.

London, 16th November 2007. The annual meeting of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission ended today without an agreement to implement the UN General Assembly resolution on bottom fishing.