Seas At Risk welcomes the steps taken today by the European Commission to end overfishing in the North-East Atlantic for some of the  stocks fished by the EU only. Regrettably, it did not follow scientific advice for all stocks, specifically for pollack in the Bay of Biscay and Iberian waters, or sole in the west of Ireland, which runs counter to the EU legal obligation to end overfishing of all EU fish stocks by 2020

90,000 dolphins have died in fishing nets in the northeast Atlantic in the past 30 years. Shockingly, more than 18,500 of these died in the past two years alone,in French waters in the Bay of Biscay.With peak strandings occurring between December and March each year, no measures are in place to prevent unnecessary dolphin bycatch and death this coming winter

Hopes for bold action to reduce the global shipping sector’s huge greenhouse gasHopes for bold action to reduce the global shipping sector’s huge greenhouse gasemissions were dashed this week when a ‘business as usual’ draft text was approved.

Responding to the European Commission’s proposal for deep sea fishing limits for 2021-2022, published today [1], NGOs welcome the positive steps towards following scientific advice. However, the proposal does not go far enough to ensure protection and allow the recovery of these very sensitive and unique species, some of which are the most vulnerable known to humankind. NGOs urge European decision-makers to set fishing limits for deep sea fish populations in line with scientific advice, the precautionary approach and considering the negative impact of fishing for these species on fragile deep-sea ecosystems [2].

Environmental NGOs this morning welcomed the decision of EU Fisheries Ministers to set Baltic fishing limits for 2021 in accordance with scientific advice for eight of ten fish populations in the Baltic, but reflect that this result is largely due to the strong position of the European Commission, and warn that today’s result is still not enough to save the herring, cod or Baltic Sea ecosystem and communities that depend on them [1].

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition – of which Seas At Risk is a steering member -  recently hosted Deep Sea TV, an online event that kicked off the first Deep Week, a whole week dedicated to celebrating the deep sea.

Seas at Risk, together with over 230 civil society organisations, communities and academics, has signed an open letter urging the European Commission to realign strategies on raw materials with the interests of the planet and communities.

More than 60+ Heads of State and Government, including the leaders of five of the world’s largest economies, endorse the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, committing to decisive action on nature to protect human and planetary health.

In the EU, plastics constitute up to 95% of all waste found on shorelines and at sea. In 2019, the Balearic Autonomous Government is pioneering the fight against single-use plastics with the approval of sweeping legislation which, as of January 2021, will ban many plastic products, including lightweight plastic bags, plastic cutlery, plates and straws, disposable razors and lighters and single-use coffee capsules.

EU funds designated to combat overfishing are instead doing the exact opposite; driving fleet overcapacity and overfishing, according to a report published today by Sea at Risk and BirdLife Europe. 

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