Brussels, 23rd April 2007. In a joint letter to European transport ministers, Seas At Risk and WWF are calling on those EU states that have not done so to ratify the AFS Convention and finally bring into force global regulations banning the use of TBT-based antifouling paints.

Tributyltin (TBT) is an active ingredient in certain antifouling paints used on ships and is one of the most dangerous substances ever deliberately introduced into the marine environment. An EU ban on the presence of TBT-based antifoulings on ships hulls in EU ports came into effect on 1st January 2008.Concerns over the effects of TBT on marine life go back many years. When the environmental effects of TBT were felt in inshore areas its use on small vessels was restricted, and in 2001 after similar effects were documented in open waters the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Antifouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention). The AFS Convention took seven years to enter into force and did so on the 17th September 2008 banning globally both the application and presence on ships hulls of TBT-based antifoulings.

Brussels, 29th January 2007. The Commission today published a highly critical review of deep-water fisheries management, but failed to propose an appropriate regulatory response.

Lyme Bay, 23rd January 2007. A storm, a dramatic rescue and now a broken ship beached at a World Heritage Site with its cargo littering the foreshore.

Brussels, 21st December 2006. EU fisheries ministers today continued their annual Christmas tradition of ignoring scientific advice, authorising continued over-fishing, and condemning fish stocks and fishers to a bleak future.

Brussels, 18th December 2006. Environment ministers attending today’s EU Environment Council meeting in Brussels have agreed a draft version of the EU’s Marine Strategy Directive that spells tragedy for the marine environment.

New York, 8th December 2006. The United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA) concluded its annual debate on oceans and sustainable fisheries today with the formal adoption of two resolutions, one of which includes controversial measures for high-seas bottom trawling.

Brussels, 5th December 2006. Despite consistent advice from fisheries scientists over the last 5 years to stop the catching of cod*, the Commission has again proposed that European fisheries ministers agree fishing opportunities for cod, and reduced those opportunities by just 25% compared with 2006.

New York, 23rd November 2006. Hopes for effective UN action to protect vulnerable high-seas habitats from bottom trawling were destroyed today as a small but influential group of fishing nations led by Iceland blocked a compromise agreement on measures that carried the support of most other fishing nations, of conservationists and of the marine scientific community.

Brussels, 22nd November 2006. After two days of Fisheries Council negotiations EU ministers have agreed a typical EU fudge and gambled that deep-sea stocks will survive another 4-5 years of over-fishing. Seas At Risk condemns ministers for their lack of political courage, and is shocked at their willingness to gamble with the future of whole ecosystems.

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