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16 July 2008

The EU’s Council of Fisheries Ministers yesterday agreed an emergency response to the fuel price “crisis” that has the right aims but includes too many potentially counter-productive measures.

After a race against the clock the European Commission put together the package of emergency measures endorsed by the Council. It is not clear why after months of raising fuel prices, all of a sudden the measures had to be rushed through Council before the summer break. Such haste resulted in the adoption of measures that will relieve the fishing sector in the short term, but will probably back-fire in the long term.

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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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21 March 2008

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.

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19 December 2007

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.

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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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27 October 2007

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.

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24 July 2007

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.

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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

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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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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21 December 2006

Brussels, 21st December 2006. EU fisheries ministers today continued their annual Christmas tradition of ignoring scientific advice, authorising continued over-fishing, and condemning fish stocks and fishers to a bleak future.

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08 December 2006

New York, 8th December 2006. The United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA) concluded its annual debate on oceans and sustainable fisheries today with the formal adoption of two resolutions, one of which includes controversial measures for high-seas bottom trawling.

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05 December 2006

Brussels, 5th December 2006. Despite consistent advice from fisheries scientists over the last 5 years to stop the catching of cod*, the Commission has again proposed that European fisheries ministers agree fishing opportunities for cod, and reduced those opportunities by just 25% compared with 2006.

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23 November 2006

New York, 23rd November 2006. Hopes for effective UN action to protect vulnerable high-seas habitats from bottom trawling were destroyed today as a small but influential group of fishing nations led by Iceland blocked a compromise agreement on measures that carried the support of most other fishing nations, of conservationists and of the marine scientific community.

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22 November 2006

Brussels, 22nd November 2006. After two days of Fisheries Council negotiations EU ministers have agreed a typical EU fudge and gambled that deep-sea stocks will survive another 4-5 years of over-fishing. Seas At Risk condemns ministers for their lack of political courage, and is shocked at their willingness to gamble with the future of whole ecosystems.

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17 November 2006

London, 17th November 2006. After a week of negotiations, the inter-governmental commission responsible for managing deep-water fishing in the North East Atlantic made some progress on improving the protection of deep-water fish and corals, but allowed the tougher decisions to be hijacked by the short-term fisheries interests of isolated Contracting Parties.

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