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.

With multiple sectors utilizing the marine and coastal environment, the competition for space has never been stronger. In response to this, the Commission has launched a public consultation that seeks to explore options for EU action in coastal management and maritime planning.

Seas At Risk and 88 other European and international organisations have called on President Barroso to honour the Commission’s commitment to end environmentally harmful subsidies.

The European Commission has launched an online consultation on offshore oil and gas platforms as part of its current deliberations over new EU standards to safeguard against a major oil spill in EU waters.

The European Commission has put forward a proposal for the review of the Energy Tax Directive which maintains an environmentally harmful exemption on tax for fuel used by the fishing and shipping sectors.

OSPAR countries have chosen to ignore damning reports concerning offshore oil drilling, opting against immediate action. Instead, they have decided to hope for the best by choosing to continue drilling in extreme conditions whilst no substantial safeguards have been put in place since the Gulf oil spill.

A study by American space agency NASA has concluded that polar ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerated rate and much faster than previously predicted, further highlighting the need for immediate measures to mitigate the effects of global warming.

As OSPAR Commission countries meet to discuss offshore industry issues, recent reports make it clear that a moratorium on new oil drilling in the North East Atlantic is essential while new rules and procedures are developed and adopted to prevent another Deepwater Horizon style disaster.

At a meeting of Fisheries Ministers and Members of the European Parliament, Ministers from Denmark, France, Germany and the UK all gave their support to Commissioner Maria Damanaki’s call for a ban on discards.

Commissioner Damanaki is meeting Fisheries Ministers and Members of the European Parliament for a discussion on discarding, the current wasteful practice of throwing unwanted or over-quota caught fish back into the sea.

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