Reacting to news of the Arctic summer sea ice minimum reaching its second lowest extent in the 42-year satellite record on September 15, and to recent reports of a polar heatwave, Greenland ice sheet’s loss of million tonnes of ice per day, the collapse of the Spalte glacier and Milne Ice Shelf, and the Arctic’s shift to a new climate, the Clean Arctic Alliance today called on world leaders to take urgent action to slow Arctic warming [1,2].

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment (ENVI) has voted in favour of key steps to bring more transparency to fisheries activities and traceability to seafood supply chains. These amendments to the revision of the fisheries Control Regulation, the foundation for how fishing activities of the EU fleet are managed, mark a pivotal step to secure sustainable seafood and healthy marine ecosystems in the EU. 

Proposed International Maritime Organization ban would allow exemptions and waivers resulting in 84% of Arctic shipping continuing to burn HFO in the Arctic, and permitting 70% of vessels to still carry HFO as fuel.

Responding to the publication of the European Commission’s proposal for Baltic Sea fishing limits for 2021, NGOs today called on EU Baltic state governments to adopt most of the Commission’s proposed measures - and to go a step further by putting a stop to overfishing of Baltic herring [1].

The launch of the Single-Use Plastics Directive in 2019 was a big win in the fight against plastic pollution. However, the plastic industry continues to put pressure on the European Commission by challenging the definition of what is considered plastic and thus subject to regulation.

A new report released today by Brussels-based NGO Seas at Risk highlights the financing of both harmful fishing practices and potential increased overcapacity - leading to overfishing [1] and loss of marine biodiversity, in the allocation of certain subsidies from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) [2].

The European Commission has demanded today that France, Spain and Sweden take immediate action to prevent the needless deaths of dolphins and porpoises killed every year as bycatch in fishing nets. 

Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is an increasing threat for marine life. The adoption of the Single Use Plastic Directive by the European Union in 2019 represented an ambitious step to get rid of the ten most polluting items found on European beaches. However, one year after the entry into force of the directive, the transposition of the legislation into domestic law has stalled in most European countries. In addition, the COVID crisis has led to a dramatic surge in the use and littering of single-use plastics.

Today, the European Commission published a report assessing the progress with the implementation of the EU’s Marine Directive [1], adopted in 2008. The report comes out just as the European Environment Agency paints a dire picture of the state of European seas in its new Marine report. Marine life, from seabed to sea birds, is suffering: 79% of the EU’s coastal seabed is damaged by bottom-trawling, up to 53% of sharks, rays and skates are threatened by bycatch and marine mammals’ condition has been in sharp decline since 2009.

Scientists indicate that deep sea fish populations in the EU are either depleted or lacking information to assess their status. NGOs urge European decision-makers to set fishing limits for highly vulnerable deep sea fish populations in line with scientific advice and the precautionary approach.

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