The European Commission has published a progress report on the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP). The report evaluates actions undertaken since 2007 to date, and outlines strategic policy orientations of the future of the IMP.

Once again the Commission places considerable emphasis on the economic potential of maritime sectors, particularly shipping and energy generation. The current financial and economic crisis provides yet an incentive to fully exploit the potential of our seas.

SAR has teamed up with the Fish Secretariat to prepare monthly briefings ahead of each Agriculture and Fisheries Council for Fisheries ministers across Europe.

Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat (a Swedish NGO working exclusively on fisheries issues) will work together on a joint project “Environmental Guidance for EU Fisheries Council Meetings”. In the framework of this project, Seas at Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat will provide environmental guidance (briefs) on fisheries to the fisheries ministers of the EU member states prior to each EU Fisheries Councils. The principal aim of the guidance will be to achieve more sustainable fisheries through greener decisions in the EU Fisheries Council.

The guidance is primarily directed at EU Fisheries Ministers, who will, four to six weeks prior to each Fisheries Council, receive a letter from Seas at Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat including guidance in the form of background information, views and recommendations, as well as supportive documentation concerning the agenda items of the upcoming Council.

At the same time, the guidance will also be sent via email to political actors and advisors, other officials, Members of the European Parliament and NGOs.

Approximately one week before each Fisheries Council, we will also make our guidance available on a common website of Seas at Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat (

The text to emerge from the most recent round of UNFCCC negotiations suggests campaigners face an up hill battle to get a progressive agreement on bunkers in Copenhagen in December.

Two drafting meetings took place in Bangkok on this issue but the resulting text (see below) remains fragmented and full of contradictory proposals. The split between developed countries and the larger “developing” states over the principles of “common but differentiated responsibilities” and “no more favorable treatment of ships” remains. The position of the former was weakened by an inability of the EU to agree targets and baselines, while Venezuela, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Brazil worked to insert variations of the “common but differentiated” approach into the work of IMO. The idea of using revenues from a bunkers levy or ETS has continued to gain traction but this “carrot” was not enough to move developing countries in Bangkok.

The issue will be discussed next in Barcelona from 2-6th November. The UNFCCC Copenhagen climate summit takes place from 7-18th December.

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