With the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty today, the decision-making procedure under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has changed significantly.

Environmental NGOs working on GHG emissions from marine and aviation bunkers have published a joint position ahead of the Copenhagen climate change summit.

A European Parliament resolution on the EU strategy for the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change has upped the stakes on targets for marine bunker emissions.

The forthcoming climate negotiations in Copenhagen provides the world's leaders with the opportunity to reach an agreement that is truly a show of leadership.

The Lisbon Treaty has important effects on the way fisheries measures will be adopted.

The way fisheries decisions will be taken once the Lisbon Treaty comes into force on 1st December 2009 will change.

The EU Fisheries Ministers failed to reach any agreement on a new technical measures regulation at their November meeting.

International shipping emissions are a substantial and fast-growing source of emissions. They were left out of the Kyoto Protocol because Parties were unable to agree a methodology for allocating emissions to individual countries.

ICCAT slashes blue fin tuna quotas by a third, thereby rejecting a complete ban.

Environmentalists are bitterly disappointed at ICCAT's decision to not place a complete moratorium on fishing blue fin tuna, which is an endangered species.

Seas At Risk is currently participating in the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) Annual Meeting. Opening statement from SAR,WWF and DSCC can be found at the bottom of this article.

Responding to the preliminary findings of a new scientific report published on November 9th, which describes a systematic failure by fisheries managers to protect the deep oceans, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), of which Seas At Risk is a member, has said it is time to halt unregulated deep-sea bottom fishing .

The report, entitled ‘The Implementation of UN Resolution 61/105 in the Management of Deep-Sea Fisheries on the High Seas,’ finds that the measures taken to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems in the deep oceans of the high seas are at best inadequate and at worst non-existent. Lead author of the report, Dr Alex Rogers of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), described the deep-sea fisheries as ‘virtually unmanaged’ and at serious risk of depletions and potential extinctions.

The report examines the data available from Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), the bodies tasked with implementing the United Nations (UN) Resolution. Matthew Gianni, Policy Advisor to the DSCC said “The UN resolution was designed to provide protection for vulnerable deep-sea areas in lieu of a moratorium. The RFMOs studied in the report have failed to implement it, comprehensively and without exception. The only alternative is to impose a temporary prohibition on all bottom fishing in these areas until the RFMOs do what they have been told to do and prove that they can fish responsibly.”

Next week, the Sustainable Fisheries resolution negotiations recommence at UN headquarters in New York to determine further recommendations needed in this year’s General Assembly Resolution to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems. Matthew Gianni noted that: “The UN Secretary General’s own report has already concluded that implementation of the resolution is inadequate and this new scientific analysis confirms that. The negotiations should acknowledge this failure and the need for a new, stronger approach to enforcing protection for these seriously imperiled deep sea areas.”

Photograph by Lucy Kemp, Marine Photobank.

Among the few positive signs from Barcelona, was tangible progress on emissions from the aviation and shipping sectors, with the debate moving into real negotiation mode and Parties coalescing around options.

Crucially, a number of African countries spoke up and highlighted how revenues from shipping and aviation could serve as an additional source of climate finance and the EU responded warmly to this call.

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