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08 June 2011

This year’s theme focuses on “Youth: the Next Wave for Change”. In light of this, Seas At Risk are challenging all comers of all ages to discover the world's oceans online and learn a new language too.

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04 June 2011

Due to continued overfishing, some fish stocks are now at perilously low levels, but it was not always like this: Fish Week 2011 looks to explore how the marine environment used to be healthier, how overfishing has changed this and how the EU’s CFP reform is an opportunity to go Back to the Future.

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03 June 2011

A United Nations (UN) meeting on oceans biodiversity has heard how poorly high seas fishing nations have performed in implementing their commitments to ground breaking resolutions adopted in 2006 and 2009, designed to protect biodiversity in the deep sea.

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25 May 2011

The European Commission has launched a consultation on catch quotas for 2012, asking for the first time for opinions of all stakeholders including the general public.

The online consultation runs until mid July and is specifically targeting the opinions of European Citizens on the way in which levels of fishing effort and fishing quotas are set in relation to scientific advice about sustainable fishing. The consultation focuses on two major recurring problems. The first is the mismatch between scientific assessments which determine sustainable catch levels and the on average much higher final catch limits decided by fisheries Ministers who regularly ignore the science. Commissioner Damanaki wants to tighten the rules so that decisions are closer to the advice. The second issue is what to do when scientific predictions and recommendations are uncertain because the available data is insufficient. The Commission proposes that in these cases the precautionary principle is applied and TACs are reduced by 25% or more if necessary until the concerned Member States come up with data for scientists to work with. The Commission consultation paper highlights that while some EU fish stocks have improved, the majority is still considered overfished. The EU has committed to end overfishing and to manage all fisheries at levels enabling Maximum Sustainable Yield by 2015. With this goal fast approaching, efforts must be stepped up. At the launch of the consultation, Commissioner Maria Damanaki for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries reminded the press that bringing all overfished stocks back to sustainable levels will benefit people and the environment. More fish in the sea will help to bring back profitability to European fishing communities and ensure that less effort and time is needed at sea to bring back the same amount of catch, resulting in less impact on the marine environment, reduced by-catch of unwanted species, less fish discarded and less CO2 emitted. Seas At Risk will respond to the consultation and inform fisheries Ministers of its opinion.

For more information on the Consultation
24 May 2011

The umbrella group ‘NGO Shipbreaking Platform’ is calling on Bangladesh to refuse entry and dismantling of the Probo Koala ship – the vessel that became infamous in the case of 528 tonnes of toxic waste being dumped in the Ivory Coast in 2006.

The NGOs are concerned that the ship will be broken down in an unsafe and environmentally damaging manner because of expectations that the Probo Koala contains many tonnes of hazardous asbestos, PCBs, toxic paints, fuel and chemical residues. In 2010, a Dutch court found the multinational company Trafigura guilty of illegally exporting toxic waste from Amsterdam in the Probo Koala. Two months after the waste was dumped in Abidijan, the largest city in the Ivory Coast, over 107,000 people had been registered as having been affected by it. According to the Ivorian authorities, 16 people died as a result of their exposure to the waste. Seas At Risk member organisation, the North Sea Foundation is a member of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

For more information

24 May 2011

Presenting her own report on illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing at the European Parliament, MEP Isabella Lövin has called for the European Commission to strengthen its battle against IUU fishing.

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20 May 2011

The European Maritime Day is being celebrated with a conference titled “Putting People First”. Around 1000 participants have gathered in the Polish coastal city to discuss the challenges currently facing maritime sectors in Europe.

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18 May 2011

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on plastic carrier bags and in particular is assessing the effectiveness of a ban or levy to discourage and reduce their use.

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12 May 2011

With blatant disregard for the EU’s commitments on climate change and biodiversity loss, and in a move that could encourage further overfishing of depleted fish stocks, European Parliamentarians have voted favourably on a resolution urging the European Commission to increase national fuel subsidies for the fishing industry.

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05 May 2011

Reports of EU plans to pay fishers to catch plastic, rather than fish, is a double edged sword: cleaning up marine litter is desperately needed but paying fishers to collect plastic in a manner that keeps afloat a largely unsustainable industry is tantamount to an environmentally damaging subsidy.

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03 May 2011

The European Commission has published a new Biodiversity Strategy, aimed at achieving the headline target of halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and restoring them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss.

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29 April 2011

Several Members of the European Parliament are rallying for support to double the allowance of national aid for fishermen to €60,000 per enterprise - Seas At Risk and other environmental organisations strongly oppose such an increase.

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20 April 2011
On the 20th April 2010 an offshore drilling rig in the US Gulf coast exploded, killing 11 workers and leading to the release of an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the marine environment. It is one of the worst environmental disasters ever recorded and has highlighted the risky business of offshore oil drilling and the devastating impacts that can result from such activity. The event has also acted as a catalyst for a European and global response to ensure that lessons are learned and actions are taken to fully protect against oil spills from offshore installations.  

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20 April 2011

A 500 tonne cargo of suspected illegally caught fish worth millions of Euros has been seized by Spanish authorities, adding to a 600 tonne catch already being investigated in the port.

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05 April 2011

A U.N. backed study has concluded that fertilizing the oceans to boost the growth of tiny plants that would absorb green house gases is unlikely to work as a way to slow climate change.

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04 April 2011

Commissioner Damanaki has announced that the long awaited Commission proposal for a reformed Common Fisheries Policy will be ready on the 13th of July. Parliament and Council will then decide on the contents through the ordinary legislative procedure.

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04 April 2011

The International Maritime Organisation failed to reach agreement on global action to address GHGs from international shipping at a meeting in London last week. Environmental groups have repeated calls for EU action in the absence of progress on global measures.

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31 March 2011

Understanding marine litter and how waste enters our oceans is crucial in order to better realise the sorts of solutions that can tackle the problem – new materials uploaded to learn2sea.org provide a great opportunity to find out more.

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29 March 2011

The long awaited European Commission White Paper on Transport has called for at least a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 and for improved sharing of information amongst Member States on ship-source waste.

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28 March 2011

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.

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