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.
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 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.
London, 28 October 2016 - Statement on behalf of environmental NGOs Transport & Environment and Seas At Risk- Abandoning a review of ship efficiency targets until 2018 at the earliest, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today turned down an easy opportunity to act on climate change, environmental groups Transport & Environment (T&E) and Seas at Risk (SAR), members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, have said.
Today’s decision by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to cap the sulphur content of marine fuels sold worldwide at 0.5% by 2020 has been applauded by environmental groups Transport & Environment and Seas At Risk, which are members of the Clean Shipping Coalition. This will reduce SO2 emissions – which cause premature deaths from diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease – from shipping by 85% compared with today’s levels.
After two years of preparatory work and negotiations, the Commission presented its proposal for a revised Decision on criteria and methodologies for determining good environmental status of European seas. While the legislation is now clearer and promotes stronger regional cooperation, some important safeguards are still missing to ensure an adequate level of protection of our seas and ocean. The legislation not only lacks an independent process to decide when Good Environmental Status is achieved but also has some inconsistencies with other European environmental policies. Seas At Risk, together with other NGOs, urged the Commission to address these issues.
Seas at Risk urges Member States to designate more marine protected areas under the Natura 2000 network and calls on the European Commission to take legal steps against those Member States that fail to do so.
Those who will suffer most benefit least from global trade. The on-time implementation (in 2020) of a global low-sulphur fuel law for ships would prevent 200,000 premature deaths globally, a health study by a group of leading researchers from the United States and Finland reveals. Oil and gas industry association IPIECA and a group of shipping companies represented by BIMCO, are pushing hard to delay the measure for five years, The Guardian reveals. Later this month the International Marine Organisation (IMO) will decide whether to stick to the 2020 date, which was agreed by acclamation back in 2008 . NGOs Seas at Risk and Transport & Environment (T&E), observers at the IMO, condemn any delay in the implementation of the sulphur cap for ship fuel, which would be unacceptable and unjustifiable.
Seas At Risk participated in the First Summit of the Blue Economy Business and Science Forum in Hamburg, 12th-13th September. The conference gave a good taste of the opportunities and challenges blue innovation poses to the future of our seas. While EU research seems more and more geared towards a ‘smart’ blue economy, the governance framework – and financial instruments - clearly still need to catch up.
98% of offshore waters remain unprotected under Natura 2000, Europe’s key conservation network
Brussels - Over the summer, 100 NGOs from across the world came together to strategise how to tackle the ever growing plastic pollution problem. Today the vision they created is launched, and we ask the European union to rise to the challenge to break free from plastic.
Brussels – The newly created European Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC) held its first General Assembly meeting today. An initial Executive Committee of fourteen members was elected, a work programme was approved and three working groups on finfish, shellfish, and horizontal matters were established.
Brussels – It’s been a very tempestuous week of political fallout since the UK voted by 52% to leave the European Union in a public vote. Seas At Risk is determined to continue working with its members inside and outside the UK for a healthy marine environment.
Brussels - The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (of which Seas At Risk is a steering group member) has welcomed the agreement reached on 30 June by the European Parliament, Council of Ministers, and European Commission on key provisions for a new European Union (EU) regulation on deep-sea fishing.
8 June is the United Nations day for World Oceans. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘healthy oceans, healthy planet’, yet developments during 2016 have shown just how much more needs to be done to preserve our seas from the effects of human activity.