Depletion of fish populations, habitat destruction, bycatch of sensitive species, water pollution… Wild fisheries is one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss at sea, according to the 2019 UN IPBES global assessment report on biodiversity. Despite recognition of the issue, however, the latest leaked draft of the upcoming Farm-to-Fork Strategy [1] by the European Commission pays little attention to the harmful environmental impacts of seafood production.

The European Commission recently launched its new Circular Economy Action Plan, as announced in the European Green Deal. As an improvement on the previous circular economy plan, which focused mainly on promoting recycling, the new circular economy now prioritises action on resource-efficient, energy-efficient and toxic-free products as well as waste prevention measures.

Harmful fisheries subsidies can have a devastating impact on the marine environment, yet they remain a key issue in negotiations in the next European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) 2021-2027. This issue is likely to generate much debate in the next and final negotiations between the Parliament and Council of the European Union, who support these harmful subsidies, and the European Commission, who is determined to exclude them.   

Poet Rik Zutphen, stage name Skinfiltr8r, wrapped up Seas At Risk’s Ocean Action! conference with an inspiring poem retracing the day’s discussions and events.

This June, governments around the world must fulfil their commitment to curb the public money that supports overfishing and degrades our ocean. After nearly two decades of negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), now is the moment for leaders to act to end harmful fisheries subsidies.

Seas At Risk is delighted to announce that the Irish Wildlife Trust is joining our network, bringing our membership to 32 organisations in 16 EU countries.

Brussels dressed up in blue for the week of 3rd-9th February. Seas At Risk, together with six leading NGOs (BirdLife Europe, ClientEarth, Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Surfrider Foundation Europe and WWF), organised the first Ocean Week 2020 to raise awareness of the challenges facing our ocean and to call for bold policy action.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries addressed the attendees of Seas At Risk’s Ocean Action! conference, sharing his views on the Blue Manifesto and explaining how the European Green Deal can improve the state of the marine environment. He outlined his political priorities for this Commission mandate and acknowledged the need to address ocean challenges at international level, noting that the ocean does not have borders.

 

Thank you for showing up in such numbers. At this crucial time for the ocean, it is heart-warming to see so many keen to act in its interest. Not that the ocean needs us – it’s we who need the ocean.

Environmental NGOs launch new rescue plan for Europe to make our ocean healthy by 2030 - Today, 102 environmental organisations (1), led by Seas At Risk, BirdLife Europe, ClientEarth, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation Europe and WWF are launching the “Blue Manifesto” (2). The rescue plan lays out concrete actions which must be delivered by set dates in order to turn the tide on the ever-degraded and polluted ocean and coastlines. 

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