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.

London, 15th June. An extraordinary meeting of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (London, 13-14/6/07) has failed to act on a series of crucial issues, instead agreeing temporary measures until it meets again in November.

On June 14th 2007 the European Court considered the case of the Azores against the Council of the European Union. Supported by Seas At Risk and other NGOs, the Azores are trying to protect the fish stocks and unique marine environment in their waters from the fishing fleets of other EU states. The case is important not just because of the need to protect the Azorean marine environment but because the outcome could have an effect on the future integration of environmental considerations into the EU’s common fisheries policy and indeed into EU policies more generally.

Brussels, 10th May 2007. A picture taken from space graphically illustrates the damage that is being caused around the world by trawling, one of the most environmentally damaging and energy intensive of fishing techniques.

Bremen, 7th May 2007. The conclusions of a stakeholder conference on the EU maritime policy held in Bremen last week appear to have been high-jacked by shipping and port interests.

Renaca, 4th May 2007. Up to a quarter of the world's high seas are to be protected from bottom trawling, following a landmark agreement by nations fishing in the South Pacific. Similar action is urgently needed in the N.E. Atlantic.

Brussels, 23rd April 2007. In a joint letter to European transport ministers, Seas At Risk and WWF are calling on those EU states that have not done so to ratify the AFS Convention and finally bring into force global regulations banning the use of TBT-based antifouling paints.

Tributyltin (TBT) is an active ingredient in certain antifouling paints used on ships and is one of the most dangerous substances ever deliberately introduced into the marine environment. An EU ban on the presence of TBT-based antifoulings on ships hulls in EU ports came into effect on 1st January 2008.Concerns over the effects of TBT on marine life go back many years. When the environmental effects of TBT were felt in inshore areas its use on small vessels was restricted, and in 2001 after similar effects were documented in open waters the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Antifouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention). The AFS Convention took seven years to enter into force and did so on the 17th September 2008 banning globally both the application and presence on ships hulls of TBT-based antifoulings.