The European Commission has published a new Biodiversity Strategy, aimed at achieving the headline target of halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and restoring them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss.

Several Members of the European Parliament are rallying for support to double the allowance of national aid for fishermen to €60,000 per enterprise - Seas At Risk and other environmental organisations strongly oppose such an increase.

On the 20th April 2010 an offshore drilling rig in the US Gulf coast exploded, killing 11 workers and leading to the release of an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the marine environment. It is one of the worst environmental disasters ever recorded and has highlighted the risky business of offshore oil drilling and the devastating impacts that can result from such activity. The event has also acted as a catalyst for a European and global response to ensure that lessons are learned and actions are taken to fully protect against oil spills from offshore installations.

A 500 tonne cargo of suspected illegally caught fish worth millions of Euros has been seized by Spanish authorities, adding to a 600 tonne catch already being investigated in the port.

A U.N. backed study has concluded that fertilizing the oceans to boost the growth of tiny plants that would absorb green house gases is unlikely to work as a way to slow climate change.

Commissioner Damanaki has announced that the long awaited Commission proposal for a reformed Common Fisheries Policy will be ready on the 13th of July. Parliament and Council will then decide on the contents through the ordinary legislative procedure.

The International Maritime Organisation failed to reach agreement on global action to address GHGs from international shipping at a meeting in London last week. Environmental groups have repeated calls for EU action in the absence of progress on global measures.

Understanding marine litter and how waste enters our oceans is crucial in order to better realise the sorts of solutions that can tackle the problem – new materials uploaded to provide a great opportunity to find out more.

The long awaited European Commission White Paper on Transport has called for at least a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 and for improved sharing of information amongst Member States on ship-source waste.

40,000 people, 35 countries and over 950 clean-up operations across the globe has signalled to policy makers that marine litter must be taken seriously and acted on accordingly through appropriate legislation.

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