Seas At Risk has extended its network in the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Black Sea, welcoming two new member organisations: Ecologistas en Accion and Friends of the Black Sea. These additions bring the number of Seas At Risk members to 32, across 16 European countries.

For Seas At Risk and its members, every day is World Oceans Day, as we constantly strive to defend the marine world. World Oceans Day, however, provides an important opportunity to speak out a little louder and remind our policy makers of the urgent action needed to tackle the pressures on the ocean. Similarly, it showcases the depth of feeling that European citizens have for their ocean, an ocean that provides crucial benefits such as food and resources, climate regulation, recreational services and the production of more than half of the oxygen we breathe.

Seas At Risk and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) welcome the call for a moratorium on deep-sea mining in international waters by the Long Distance Fleet Advisory Council (LDAC) of the European Union. In calling for a moratorium, the LDAC highlighted concerns by scientists, the fishing industry and environmental organisations over the potentially severe impacts on fisheries, fish and other species in the oceans and inevitable loss of marine biodiversity from deep-sea mining. The Executive Committee of the LDAC adopted the advice to the European Commission and EU Member States at its meeting in Poland last week and publicly released it today.

In the fight against plastic pollution, new European legislation aims to reduce consumption of the top 10 most polluting single-use plastic products, as well as fishing gear containing plastic. Member States now have two years to implement this legislation at a minimum, or even a more ambitious national version. As of 2021, single-use plastic products that have sustainable alternatives will be banned from the EU market, such as plastic cutlery, plates, expanded polystyrene food containers and cotton buds.

Today, the Council of the European Union adopted legislation to regulate the use of single-use plastic with the objective to limit plastic marine pollution. As of 2021, single-use plastic cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, cotton buds, balloon sticks and expanded polystyrene food containers and cups will be banned in the EU.

Three years after Paris and over a year after agreeing a 2050 decarbonisation objective, European campaign groups Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment, leading members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, are appalled at the complete lack of ambition shown by the IMO this week.

Our planet is facing not only climate breakdown but an ecological collapse. Our lifestyles see us overexploit our limited natural resources and ignore the collateral damage to the natural world on which our entire existence depends.  

The sea is home to a significant proportion of Earth’s biodiversity, yet it is also the location of numerous human activities. This puts unprecedented and unsustainable pressure on the marine environment, dramatically impacting marine biodiversity and ocean resilience. As the world’s biggest maritime territory and with almost half of its population living by the sea, the EU is compelled to set rules to protect marine biodiversity and regulate the activities that take place at sea or which impact the sea.

As IMO meets this week in London, groups issue call to reevaluate scrubbers as alternative compliance tool for 2020 fuel standards, citing evidence in US federal case against Carnival Corporation

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) need better protection. Luckily, we have a strong team to do just that. Seas At Risk, together with France Nature Environnement in France, Sciaena in Portugal and Coastwatch & Irish Wildlife Trust in Ireland, are on a mission to make MPAs work in Europe. Every MPA needs to be more than a square on a map. Every MPA needs to be truly protected and managed.

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