23 November 2010

In an open letter sent out to EU Fisheries Ministers, Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat have called on Ministers to be very cautious when setting catch limits for deep-sea fisheries where stock data is unavailable.

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18 October 2010

In a landmark ruling made last week, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Government has announced that a ban on trawling will be enforced in Hong Kong waters.

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11 October 2010

The EU Commission’s proposal for deep sea catch limits in 2011 and 2012 allows for business as usual, in spite of clear scientific evidence that all of these species are outside "safe biological limits" and further threatened by discarding, misreporting and non-reporting by EU fishing fleets.

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24 June 2010

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition today released a report at the United Nations which describes major shortcomings in the implementation of UN General Assembly resolutions designed to protect the deep-ocean from the destructive impact of fishing.

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31 May 2010

A statement released by 9 NGOs regarding the European Commission’s communication on fishing opportunities for 2011 has called on the European Union to scale up its effort in order to protect and recover fish populations.

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09 November 2009

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.

SAR DSCC WWF opening statement at NEAFC. SAR WWF DSCC Recommendations
11 September 2009

The 5th World Conference of Fisheries Ministers will take place in Bayona, Spain on Tuesday 16th September. More than 60 Fisheries Ministers from five continents will meet to adopt a ministerial declaration bound to guide the future policy of sustainable fishing worldwide.

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21 August 2009

The UN Secretary General Review of UN resolution 61/105 was published today.

The report, requested by the UN General Assembly, outlines the measures taken by high seas fishing nations to implement a 2006 UN General Assembly resolution designed to protect deep-ocean biodiversity from the harmful impact of deep-sea bottom trawling and other methods of bottom fishing.

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11 March 2009

Commercial fishing in the north-east Atlantic could be harming deep-sea fish populations a kilometre below the deepest reach of fishing trawlers, according to a 25-year study undertaken by a consortium of research institutes.

Scientists concluded that commercial fishing may have much wider effects than previously thought, reducing fish populations and changing deep-water communities which were assumed to be safely beyond the range of fishing boats.

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05 November 2008

The Seas At Risk "Climate & Oceans" conference took place in Brussels on the 5th November 2008. The speakers drew the attention of the public to the marine impacts of climate change and the mitigation challenges facing the fishing and shipping industries.

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13 October 2008

The Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation last week described the impacts of climate change as an “Orwellian” prospect, but failed to convince developing nations of the need for IMO action on greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

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21 March 2008

Bottom trawl fishing on the high seas is the most immediate and widespread threat to the unique and vulnerable biodiversity of the deep sea in international waters. For this reason Seas At Risk and many scientists, NGOs, and national authorities have been calling for the United Nations to establish a moratorium or temporary prohibition to provide protection for unique and largely unknown deep water areas of high biodiversity, e.g., seamounts, until effective and legally-binding measures can be put in place.

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16 November 2007

London, 16th November 2007. The annual meeting of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission ended today without an agreement to implement the UN General Assembly resolution on bottom fishing.

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27 October 2007

Brussels, 27th October 2007. The European Commission proposal for a Regulation to end destructive fishing practices in certain unregulated areas of the high seas and the related Communication are a welcome first step towards the protection of deep sea biodiversity and the strengthening of deep sea fisheries management.

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15 June 2007

London, 15th June. An extraordinary meeting of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (London, 13-14/6/07) has failed to act on a series of crucial issues, instead agreeing temporary measures until it meets again in November.

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10 May 2007

Brussels, 10th May 2007. A picture taken from space graphically illustrates the damage that is being caused around the world by trawling, one of the most environmentally damaging and energy intensive of fishing techniques.

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07 May 2007

Renaca, 4th May 2007. Up to a quarter of the world's high seas are to be protected from bottom trawling, following a landmark agreement by nations fishing in the South Pacific. Similar action is urgently needed in the N.E. Atlantic.

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29 January 2007

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.

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08 December 2006

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.

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23 November 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.

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