2010 has been appointed by the UN as the Year of Biodiversity – what will the European Commission and other institutions be doing to mark this?

A group of scientists has set sail to study the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The study’s maiden voyage, from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands through the Sargasso Sea, is part of the 5 Gyres Project, which will launch a second sail across the South Atlantic in August. Participating in and directing the project are researchers Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins, who have worked with Captain Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF), documenting the growing accumulation of plastic pollution in the North Pacific Gyre.

The call for responses on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy closed on 31st December 2009 and SAR contributed several submissions.

The failure of COP15 to progress the issue of GHG emissions from shipping should be seen as a green light for the EU to push ahead with an emissions trading scheme for ships visiting EU ports.

With less than two days of Copenhagen climate negotiations to go NGOs are calling on the EU to fight back on a deal that could be key to billions in climate finance for the poorest countries.

After lengthy and difficult discussions, the Council reached agreement on fishing opportunities for 2010 on 15 December.

In a press conference, Sweden's Minister for Agriculture Erlandsson and Fisheries Commissioner Borg welcomed the agreement declaring it as an important step towards sustainable fisheries within the EU. Erlandsson stressed that the Commission Proposal had been based on scientific advice, whilst Borg clarified that the proposal also tried to lessen the short-term burden on the catching sector.

The conclusions from Seas At Risk’s conference on capacity reduction and fleet restructuring can be downloaded from a link to this article in the form of a report.

A deal on including aviation and shipping emissions in the Copenhagen climate agreement is being blocked by China, India, Saudi Arabia and The Bahamas, putting the 2 degrees Celsius target and $30bn of adaptation funding at risk.

Fisheries in Community waters are regulated under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). According to the revised decision-making procedure under the Lisbon Treaty, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament share the decision-making power and jointly decide on legislation in the framework of the CFP, based on legislative proposals from the European Commission.

Delegates at the UN Climate Summit were today shown that the world’s oceans are becoming acidic at a faster rate than at any time in the last 55 million years, threatening disaster for marine life.

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