Seas At Risk is delighted to welcome two new members, the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and Shark Project, bringing our membership to 32 organisations in 16 EU countries.

Founded in 1997, the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation works to conserve biodiversity in Bulgaria and neighbouring countries. It promotes the participation of citizens and local communities in managing natural resources and protected areas, as well as raising public awareness of biodiversity and nature protection. It actively works to preserve nature in Bulgaria by bringing together different viewpoints among those who share the belief that “natural resource preservation is only possible through public awareness”.

The cooperation established with Seas At Risk will focus on EU marine and fisheries policies, especially the protection of the Black Sea environment and resources, including a ban on harmful practices such as bottom trawling and dragging. It will also contribute to the development of low-impact fisheries and aquaculture to ensure healthy and resilient seas.

Most recently, the Foundation is cooperating with the government and local communities to establish a functioning and well-managed national protected area network that will create a system of protected areas to help maintain ecological processes and improve livelihoods.

Shark Project has both a strong European and international reach. It focuses on biodiversity and marine conservation by engaging in policies for improved fisheries management and ocean protection. At international level, it particularly emphasises the conservation of sharks, with much of its action centred on Europe and European policies.

Seas at Risk and Shark Project will jointly work on fisheries, overfishing and bycatch, with an emphasis on EU policy.

A key action from Shark Project is the StopFinningEU petition: 1,202,122 signatures were collected to end the trade in shark fins and urge the European Commission to extend the current EU regulation of “Fins Naturally Attached” to the export, import and transit of sharks and rays.

Seas At Risk grows stronger with each new member and we are grateful for their enthusiasm, willingness to cooperate, and broad expertise in various, interlinked fields. The Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and Shark Project are exciting additions whose varied experience and expertise will inspire further action and collaboration in the name of greener, bluer and more sustainable policy and governance. We are committed to safeguarding our seas, our ocean and our future, and are proud to stand alongside our members who share these values.