Today the Council agreed on deep-sea fishing quota for 2013 and 2014, and set them higher than proposed by the Commission for half of the stocks, ignoring the vulnerability of these stocks.
At a conference commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Prestige sinking, SAR member organisation the Surfrider Foundation has called on industry and legislators to ensure that our marine and coastal environments are fully protected against maritime impacts.
The event, that was also organised by Surfrider, took the opportunity to review gaps and discrepancies in existing maritime legislation at the regional and global scale. In a report published by the group, it was found that although improvements in legislation have taken place over recent years it is still the case that further safeguards are needed. Surfrider also used the event to call for the adoption of stronger legislation that resulted from the Erika disaster. In this they are calling on the EU to put in place measures to deter against ‘flags of convenience’ – a strategy employed by some ship owners to avoid stringent safety rules. The French based NGO are also calling for new legislation to address issues such as the opening of new Arctic sea routes – an emerging issue that exposes sensitive Arctic ecosystems to the possibility of a major oil spill. Since 2008 Surfider has worked to bring shipping companies responsible for oil spills to justice, with more than 18 shippers now being brought before the courts. The majority of these cases have resulted in heavy sentences with fines totaling approximately 7 million euros. Until the Erika disaster in 1999 and three years later the sinking of the Prestige, European maritime legislation was limited. In response to these disasters, packages of legislation known as Erika I, II, and III were adopted in Europe to tackle shipping pollution. DENMARK RELAXED OVER OIL SPILL RESPONSE An internal report from the Danish Ministry of Defense has revealed that Denmark’s two largest pollution control vessels could only be used to tackle minor oil spills, as they lack equipment to protect crews from the dangerous fumes emanating from fresh crude oil spills. A captain of one of the pollution control vessels who recently resigned from his position told Danish press that Denmark was essentially incapable of responding to a major oil spill and would be reliant on its neighboring countries in the event of a spill. To read Surfrider’s full report To read the story on Danish oil spill response (subscription only)
In a letter sent ahead of the November Fisheries Council meeting, Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat are calling on EU Ministers to set quotas for deep sea species that reflect the vulnerability of these stocks given their unique life traits.
At a conference exploring the use of Port Reception Facilites, Seas At Risk has made a plea for the removal of existing economic disincentives for ships to discharge their waste at EU ports in order to turn Europe into a hub for handling ship waste.
In a letter sent ahead of the October Fisheries Council meeting, SAR and FISH have made a final call on EU Fisheries Ministers to oppose all proposals that allow aid for new builds, modernisation and/or engine replacements, decommissioning and temporary cessation.
12 out of 22 EU Member States have failed to meet a crucial deadline for reporting requirements under the Marine Directive, a Commission scorecard has detailed today. This disappointing finding puts in question whether European states are interested in saving our already fragile marine environment.
EU ministers have signed a Declaration today on a Marine and Maritime Agenda for growth and jobs. Seas at Risk and 18 other environmental NGOs are concerned that such plans will come at the expense of the marine environment and have called on ministers to respect the ‘limits to blue growth’.
In a position paper sent to European ministers ahead of Monday’s expected ‘Limassol Declaration’ on the Integrated Maritime Policy, Seas at Risk and 18 other ENGOs have called on ministers to respect the ‘limits to blue growth’ and ensure that strategies to strengthen the maritime economy do not come at the expense of the marine environment.
In response to a statement from EC Vice-President Kallas and EU Commissioner Hedegaard on GHG emissions from shipping NGOs T&E and Seas at Risk have issued the following joint statement.
The negotiations on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund are currently gathering speed. In a joint position paper, BirdLife Europe, Greenpeace, Oceana, OCEAN2012 and WWF are calling for a shift of funds away from subsidies that incentivise and support overfishing to funds that support sustainable fisheries and healthy marine ecosystems.
A major new campaign to tackle microplastics entering the marine environment has been launched. SAR has signed on to help solve the problem of micro beads found in 100’s of personal hygiene products that can end up down our plug holes and into our seas.