Today, NGOs demanded that EU fisheries ministers face up to the consequences of their poor record on protecting the fish populations that underpin the health of European Seas. In a freshly published catch advice from The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), scientists advise that the iconic North Sea cod population is at such depleted levels, that fishing limits should be capped at 10 457 tonnes in 2020 - a 70% cut compared to last year. [1] 

Environmentalists have lodged an official complaint with the European Commission over illegal management of protected North Sea nature reserves, which have been left decimated by damaging fishing practices. Lawyers for WWF and ClientEarth, supported by other organisations, among which Seas At Risk, are calling on the Commission to challenge the Netherlands, the UK and Germany over a recently submitted proposed management plan for the Dogger Bank – a unique undersea conservation site, and home to sharks, porpoises and other iconic species – that contains multiple breaches of EU law.

Responding to recent reports of the latest emerging climate emergencies impacting the Arctic region, Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, of which Seas At Risk is member, called on the global shipping industry to immediately reduce ship speed to cut CO2 emissions globally, and reduce black carbon emissions by switching to cleaner fuels in the Arctic [1,2]. She also called on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member States to immediately enact a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in Arctic waters [3].

This is the fourth year that Fundació ENT, together with Sciaena and Ecologistas en Acción, (members of Seas At Risk) has analysed the European Commission’s communications on EU fisheries in line with the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) for the period 2015-2019. The detailed analysis raises concerns about the methodology used by the Commission and showing that the number of stocks identified as being in line with MSY in EU fisheries has been overestimated by 16% since 2015.

With time rapidly running out, now is the time for Europe’s citizens to add their voices and their names to the Save Our Seas petition. Now is the time to remind our politicians of their legal commitment to stop overfishing and deliver clean and healthy seas by 2020. Hundreds of thousands of citizens standing together cannot be ignored.

3, 2, 1… World Oceans Day 2019! On Saturday 8 June, Seas At Risk members, together with thousands of activists, volunteers and citizens across Europe, will celebrate World Oceans Day.

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.

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