Thousands of dolphins, porpoises and whales die in European waters, due to  accidental capture in fisheries nets (bycatch). Today 22 environmental NGOs [1], led by Seas At Risk, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, ClientEarth and Coalition Clean Baltic, jointly called on the European Commission to adopt emergency measures to immediately prevent further deaths and take legal action against 15 EU governments for failing their duty to protect these mammals.

Today, NGOs demanded that EU fisheries ministers face up to the consequences of their poor record on protecting the fish populations that underpin the health of European Seas. In a freshly published catch advice from The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), scientists advise that the iconic North Sea cod population is at such depleted levels, that fishing limits should be capped at 10 457 tonnes in 2020 - a 70% cut compared to last year. [1] 

Environmentalists have lodged an official complaint with the European Commission over illegal management of protected North Sea nature reserves, which have been left decimated by damaging fishing practices. Lawyers for WWF and ClientEarth, supported by other organisations, among which Seas At Risk, are calling on the Commission to challenge the Netherlands, the UK and Germany over a recently submitted proposed management plan for the Dogger Bank – a unique undersea conservation site, and home to sharks, porpoises and other iconic species – that contains multiple breaches of EU law.

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