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02 July 2008

Seas At Risk and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition welcome today's agreement by the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission to protect deep-sea corals and other sensitive ecosystems from bottom fisheries.

An "extraordinary" meeting of the Commission took place in London this week involving North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) member countries Norway, Iceland, Russia, the Faroe Islands and Greenland and the European Union.

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01 July 2008

In a new report the World Bank and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation calculate the losses of the world's fishing fleet due to poor management and depleted fish stocks at 50 billion US dollars per year.

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01 July 2008

Greenpeace, Seas At Risk and WWF are disappointed with today’s decision by the European Court of First Instance not to protect the waters of the Azores from a significant increase in commercial fishing.

The region supports a diverse range of marine life, including turtles, sharks, whales and dolphins and deep-sea corals, and is especially vulnerable to intensive fishing activities like trawling and longlining. The Court has ruled in favour of a 2003 decision by the Council of Ministers to open one of Europe’s best preserved deep-sea environments to the fishing fleets of all EU member states. Previously these waters were only fished by vessels from the Azores and few from mainland Portugal.

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27 June 2008

China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and India have continued to obstruct and undermine every substantial proposal for tackling GHG emissions from shipping at an IMO meeting in Oslo his week.

The International Maritime Organisation’s special greenhouse gas working group meeting, which concluded today, was tasked with carrying forward a number of key initiatives aimed at reducing GHG emissions from shipping. Despite constructive proposals from the European Commission and EU states, progress on an emissions trading scheme and a levy on marine bunker fuel were blocked entirely, while China and others took every opportunity to weaken and delay plans for design and operational indexes that would reduce CO2 emissions from new and existing ships respectively.

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26 June 2008

The process to reduce GHG emissions from ships is being threatened by developing countries who fail to recognise that the shipping industry is a special case and requires a special global sectoral approach.

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02 June 2008

European NGOs Seas At Risk, BirdLife, Greenpeace, IFAW, Oceana and WWF have issued a common statement on the new European Maritime Policy, advocating that environmental legislation, namely the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, should be at the heart of all maritime initiatives.

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20 May 2008

The 20th May 2008 was the first European Maritime Day, one of several initiatives proposed by the European Commission to celebrate Europe’s maritime heritage and the potential of our oceans and seas. The EU’s new Maritime Policy aims at solving policy conflicts originating from different economic sectors competing for the same maritime space.

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19 May 2008

Increasing levels of man-made greenhouse gases are leading to global climate change with catastrophic long-term implications for the marine environment. Stopping the rise in temperatures is the most important and urgent task facing mankind and requires action by all industries including shipping and fishing.

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07 April 2008

London, 7th April 2008. Last week the International Maritime Organisation successfully negotiated an end to the use by ships of polluting residual heavy fuel oil but made little progress on greenhouse gas emissions.

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31 March 2008

London, 31st March 2008. The 57th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee starts today in London, and GHG emissions from shipping is a key item on the agenda.

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11 December 2007

Brussels, 11th December 2007. A battle of wills between the Council and the European Parliament ended today with the adoption of a Marine Strategy Directive unfit for the purpose of protecting European Seas and acting as the “environmental pillar” of the EU’s new maritime policy.

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16 November 2007

London, 16th November 2007. The annual meeting of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission ended today without an agreement to implement the UN General Assembly resolution on bottom fishing.

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12 July 2007

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.

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15 June 2007

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.

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14 June 2007

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.

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10 May 2007

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.

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07 May 2007

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.

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07 May 2007

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.

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20 April 2007

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.

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29 January 2007

Brussels, 29th January 2007. The Commission today published a highly critical review of deep-water fisheries management, but failed to propose an appropriate regulatory response.

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