Brussels – Seas At Risk is supporting a campaign recently launched in the European Parliament by a group of MEPs led by the British MEP Catherine Bearder, which is calling on the Commission and Council to take action on the issue of microplastic pollution.

The European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) this week launched a new report on ‘Marine Sustainability in an age of changing Oceans and Seas’.

A major new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the World Economic Forum and McKinsey consultants has shown that we are currently headed for an ecological crisis in our oceans, but that we can prevent it with determined and coordinated action on how we handle plastics.

2015 was a busy year for European seas, with many developments on the EU policy front.

Brussels - The EU’s Fisheries Council went on until the early morning today to agree on new North Sea and North-East Atlantic quotas for 2016, and once again failed to end overfishing, despite their commitments under the reformed Common Fisheries Policy.

Paris - The absence of any reference to international aviation and shipping emissions in the Paris Agreement casts doubts over who is responsible for reining in their skyrocketing emissions, green NGOs Seas At Risk, Carbon Market Watch and Transport & Environment have said. While the Agreement endorses a target of 1.5°C, this cannot be achieved unless these two sectors urgently rein in their emissions.

Brussels - The EU’s Fisheries and Agriculture Council on 14-15 December will decide whether to permit continued overfishing in the North Atlantic and North Sea in 2016. Fisheries ministers will be challenged to improve their poor performance to date in implementing the more ambitious Common Fisheries Policy and setting sustainable levels of ‘Total Allowable Catches’.

Paris - The dropping of international aviation and shipping emissions from the draft Paris climate agreement published this afternoon has fatally undermined the prospects of keeping global warming below 2°C, green NGOs Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment (T&E) have said.

Paris - The Oceans were front and centre of the climate debate this week at the COP21 climate talks in Paris. Special events both inside and outside of the main negotiation zone highlighted the crucial role played by the world’s seas in regulating our climate and mitigating the effect our greenhouse gas emissions are having.

Brussels – today the European Commission adopted a new Circular Economy package, including a commitment to continue to work on the EU headline marine litter reduction target, and to develop a strategy on plastics in the Circular Economy.