Following a three year long process the Advisory Council on Aquaculture is finally established, and can start its work on shaping European aquaculture. Seas At Risk aims to encourage the development of an environmentally responsible aquaculture sector, minimising its environmental impact.

Brussels - The EU’s Fisheries Council went on until the early morning today to agree on the North Sea and North-East Atlantic quotas for 2017. Once again Ministers failed to end overfishing. The agreed catch limits for several stocks for 2017, including cod in the Celtic Sea, Southern hake, and sole in the Bay of Biscay, are higher than the maximum sustainable yield levels recommended by scientist. This, despite Ministers’ commitments to end overfishing for all stocks by 2020 at the latest, as agreed under the Common Fisheries Policy.

London, 18 November 2016 - The annual meeting of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission closed today without agreement regarding management of the deep-sea fish orange roughy. The Commission also agreed on total allowable catches of 7,500 tonnes for redfish in the Irminger Sea. These decisions leave both vulnerable species subject to overfishing, despite clear scientific advice to not allow any direct fishing for them.

Brussels 15.11.2016: Seas at Risk, The DSCC and Bloom are disappointed by the decisions on fishing limits for deep-sea fish stocks taken by the Fisheries’ Council of Ministers yesterday evening. Ministers did reduce the total allowable catch for most of the deep-sea stocks but this decision will not stop overfishing. Most of the quotas are set well above the levels recommended by the scientific community to achieve sustainable fishing and will consequently allow continued overfishing of vulnerable deep-sea species.

Measures proposed by EU Member States to protect the marine environment lack ambition and financial commitment. This is the key finding of an NGO survey organised by Seas At Risk and Oceana in order to assess the level of ambition, strengths and weaknesses of themeasures Member States are proposing to implement the Marine Directive and ultimately achieve a good environmental status of European marine waters before 2020.

Joint opening statement of Seas At Risk, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, Oceana and WWF for the 35th North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) Annual Meeting 

By recognising the threats posed by spills and black carbon emissions from heavy fuel oil (HFO) the recent 70th session of the International Maritime Organisation’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC70) took a first significant step towards the phase out of this dirty fuel from ships sailing in Arctic waters. 

Environmental groups strongly criticised the most recent International Maritime Organisation (IMO) response to the Paris Agreement objective of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees, and in particular the lack of an agreement to establish a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for the shipping sector. The outcome fails to allay fears that the IMO might be unable to tackle this issue in an effective and timely manner and reinforces the argument that the EU should push ahead with its own regional measure.

Seas At Risk urges the International Seabed Authority to stop granting licenses for deep sea exploration and exploitation until all alternatives have been investigated and stringent environmental framework conditions are put in place.

Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat sent their recommendations for the upcoming bi-annual Council decision for deep-sea species. The organisations ask fisheries ministers to adopt precautious fishing opportunities in line with scientific advice and the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy to complement the recently agreed deep-sea access regime in the protection of the deep sea.