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23 November 2009

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.

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15 November 2009

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.

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21 October 2009

The Dutch government has urged action on marine plastic debris.

The Dutch delegation presented a note to EU Environment ministers in at the Environment Council in Luxembourg on 21st October.

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15 October 2009

The European Commission has published a progress report on the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP). The report evaluates actions undertaken since 2007 to date, and outlines strategic policy orientations of the future of the IMP.

Once again the Commission places considerable emphasis on the economic potential of maritime sectors, particularly shipping and energy generation. The current financial and economic crisis provides yet an incentive to fully exploit the potential of our seas.

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02 October 2009

MCS kicked off a campaign on 28th June called Raising A Stink, in association with the Sunday Times, to stop raw sewage from combined sewer overflow pipes from polluting UK beaches.

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02 October 2009

Legambiente has uncovered a terrifying story linked to the illegal disposal of toxic and radioactive waste at sea.

The story has returned to the fore over the last few weeks after the wreck of a ship was found carrying 120 barrels of suspected radioactive waste, sunk off the Calabrian coastline (Cetraro, Cs).

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02 October 2009

MCS and the UK environmental law foundation ClientEarth have lodged a complaint with the Aarhus Committee in Geneva against the UK Government concerning failure to deliver access to justice in the environment, as required under the Aarhus Convention.

The Aarhus Convention deals with the right to information and access to justice on environmental matters and applies to members from 43 countries in Europe. The complaint was heard in Geneva on Thursday 24 September 2009. The compliance committee of the treaty must decide whether the European court was right to deny WWF access to court over the cod quota, particularly as the WWF was a member of a statutory EU body, a regional advisory committee, at the time. Aarhus says that NGOs should have the right to go to court to challenge decisions on “specific activities” if the NGOs have played a part in the decision-making process. A decision in MCS's favour will lead to a reform of the rules covering the costs and timing of Judicial Review, broadening access to the courts for NGOs wanting to mount legal challenges to state authority decisions affecting the environment. A decision will be made within approximately three months. Photograph by Ates Omer.

Link to Charles Clover article on the issue Information on the Aarhus Convention from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Simon Barnes in Saturday's Times on the issue Summary of the case in The Sunderland Echo
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16 September 2009

Environmental organisations present at the Ministerial gathering of 47 countries from five continents emphasize the fisheries ministers’ recognition that “a new scenario for the seas and the oceans” is urgently needed.

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05 August 2009

Marine scientists from California are venturing out into the Pacific to find out more about the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch".

A research vessel carrying a team of about 30 researchers, technicians and crew members embarked on Sunday on a three-week voyage from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, based at the University of California at San Diego.

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30 July 2009
Marine pest species costing billions in damage to fisheries, coastal communities and infrastructure are spreading as the world’s shipping nations continue to largely neglect bringing into effect an international treaty setting out requirements for consistent handling and treatment of ships’ ballast water.  

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20 July 2009

July was the hottest month for the world's oceans in almost 130 years of record-keeping. The average water temperature worldwide was 17 Celsius, according to the National Climatic Data Center, the branch of the U.S. government that keeps world weather records. June was only slightly cooler, while August could set another record, scientists say. The previous record was set in July 1998 during a powerful El Nino in the Pacific.

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17 July 2009

President Sarkozy has announced France's support for a ban on international trade of bluefin tuna. Monaco and the UK have supported France's position.

The backing of two major EU countries for a ban on the international bluefin tuna trade has instantly given weight and momentum to the campaign by Monaco to have the bluefin listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) next year.

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17 July 2009

Currently working its way through the Irish legislative system is the Irish Climate Change Bill, something that Seas At Risk member organsiation Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE) believes has the potential to be the strongest of its kind in the world.

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02 July 2009
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SNF), a SAR member, has produced a report condemning the negative environmental effects of bottom trawling.According to the report, trawling is one of the least energy-efficient fishing methods and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.  

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30 June 2009

Surfrider is currently working on a study to evaluate the impact of the new European directive (2006/7/CE) on the classification of European beaches.

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25 June 2009
Overfishing and other human activities are encouraging giant jellyfish to prosper and take over parts of the sea. Jellyfish are normally kept in check by fish, which eat small jellyfish and compete for jellyfish food such as zooplankton, researchers said. But, with overfishing, jellyfish numbers are increasing.  

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24 June 2009

The Marine Conservation Society, a SAR member is working to prevent scallop dredging damaging current European Marine Sites.

A synopsis of a case made by MCS to permanently close scallop dredging and bottom-towed fishing gears from the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation in 2007-2008 is attached. MCS is following up this work by ensuring that the conservation agenciesprovide clearer (regulation 33) advice as to what activity is and isn't allowed in European marine sites.

Fal and Helford Case study Here is a related article by George Monbiot on scallop dredging
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17 June 2009

The Spring Alliance is a movement created by three civil society organisations, the European Environmental Bureau, the European Trade Union Confederation and Social Platform, later also joined by Concord. Although formed and steered by these four organisations, the alliance is supported by a large network of organisations.

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16 June 2009

According to a new investigation of the greenhouse gas’s role in ice ages over the millennia, Carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere has risen to its highest level in at least 2.1 million years.

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16 June 2009
The famous oceanographer Sylvia Earle has won the 2009 TED prize for her inspirational work at the frontier of deep ocean exploration for four decades.Earle has led more than 50 expeditions worldwide involving more than 6,000 hours underwater. As captain of the first all-female team to live underwater, she and her fellow scientists received a ticker-tape parade and White House reception upon their return to the surface. In 1979, Sylvia Earle walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any other woman before or since.  

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