Bottom trawl fishing on the high seas is the most immediate and widespread threat to the unique and vulnerable biodiversity of the deep sea in international waters. For this reason Seas At Risk and many scientists, NGOs, and national authorities have been calling for the United Nations to establish a moratorium or temporary prohibition to provide protection for unique and largely unknown deep water areas of high biodiversity, e.g., seamounts, until effective and legally-binding measures can be put in place.
Brussels, 19th December 2007. Political short-termism triumphed again last night when the Fisheries Council continued its annual tradition of ignoring scientific advice and authorising continued over-fishing.
Since the adoption of the Commission’s first communication on maritime safety - "A Common Policy on Safe Seas" - which in 1993 aimed at ensuring that all ships flying under the flag of an EU Member State or entering an EU port comply with international safety standards, the European Community has constantly developed and intensified its maritime safety policy.
Brussels, 27th October 2007. The European Commission proposal for a Regulation to end destructive fishing practices in certain unregulated areas of the high seas and the related Communication are a welcome first step towards the protection of deep sea biodiversity and the strengthening of deep sea fisheries management.
Brussels, 10th October 2007. Yesterday the European Parliament continued its defence of a strong Marine Strategy Directive; today the Commission published a Communication on an EU maritime policy promoting exactly the kind of maritime industry development the environmental consequences of which the Directive is intended to combat.
Brussels, 24th July 2007. With today’s adoption of a regulation on “de minimis” (state) aid, the European Commission has opened the door to fuel subsidies in the fisheries sector.
Rome, 24th May 2007. "Clean Up the Med" is the largest voluntary operation that Legambiente has organised in the Mediterranean since 1995. On May 25th, 26th and 27th over 1,200 coastal localities will be freed from rubbish.
Clean-up the Med is a broad international campaign dedicated entirely to the safeguarding of the Mediterranean, and is organised jointly by Legambiente and the Italian Department of Civil Protection. The aim of this year's campaign is to focus and raise awareness of the issue of fossil-fuel pollution, which impacts the Mediterranean on a daily basis, and to help prepare for prompt intervention in case of environmental accidents at sea and on the coast.
Brussels, 23rd April 2007. In a joint letter to European transport ministers, Seas At Risk and WWF are calling on those EU states that have not done so to ratify the AFS Convention and finally bring into force global regulations banning the use of TBT-based antifouling paints.
Early in 2004, the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, took the Council of the European Union to the European Court of Justice in an attempt to annul that part of the Western Waters Regulation which in 2004 opened Azorean waters to fleets of other EU Member States. The Western Waters Regulation, a regulation under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), contains little in the way of environmental considerations and contrasts sharply with the more environmentally-friendly fisheries management regime that it replaced.In a ground-breaking development, Seas At Risk, WWF and Greenpeace applied and were granted leave to intervene in support of the Azores. The hearing on the case will take place on the 14th June 2007. If the Azores are successful with their environmental arguments, an important legal precedent could be set for the integration of environmental requirements into the CFP.