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.

Brussels, 27th October 2007. The European Commission proposal for a Regulation to end destructive fishing practices in certain unregulated areas of the high seas and the related Communication are a welcome first step towards the protection of deep sea biodiversity and the strengthening of deep sea fisheries management.

Brussels, 10th October 2007. Yesterday the European Parliament continued its defence of a strong Marine Strategy Directive; today the Commission published a Communication on an EU maritime policy promoting exactly the kind of maritime industry development the environmental consequences of which the Directive is intended to combat.

Brussels, 24th July 2007. With today’s adoption of a regulation on “de minimis” (state) aid, the European Commission has opened the door to fuel subsidies in the fisheries sector.

London, 12th July. Panama today announced that it had completed the process of national ratification of the AFS Convention, ensuring that the Convention will enter into force during 2008.