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25 June 2020

Today, the European Commission published a report assessing the progress with the implementation of the EU’s Marine Directive [1], adopted in 2008. The report comes out just as the European Environment Agency paints a dire picture of the state of European seas in its new Marine report. Marine life, from seabed to sea birds, is suffering: 79% of the EU’s coastal seabed is damaged by bottom-trawling, up to 53% of sharks, rays and skates are threatened by bycatch and marine mammals’ condition has been in sharp decline since 2009.

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05 June 2020

Seas At Risk’s Ocean Action! conference took place on 5 February 2020 in Brussels. The event, which marked Seas At Risk’s 30-year anniversary, brought together ocean lovers from civil society, institutions, governments and scientific organisations. The report retraces key moments of the conference, such as the presentation of the Blue Manifesto, the thought-provoking presentations and discussions between inspirational experts, decision-makers and activists. A selection of the many creative collective ideas that emerged from the workshops are presented in the report, providing useful examples of concrete ocean actions to complement the Blue Manifesto.

For the full list of ideas that emerged from the workshops, see the "Annex - Workshop outcomes"

26 May 2020

Scientists from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) have published landmark advice today, warning the European Commission that immediate action is needed to protect two critically vulnerable marine species. A group of NGOs has welcomed the move, which came in response to their major intervention last year. 

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28 January 2020

More than 100 environmental organisations, led by Seas At Risk, BirdLife Europe, ClientEarth, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation Europe and WWF launched the “Blue Manifesto”. The rescue plan lays out concrete actions which must be delivered by set dates in order to turn the tide on the ever-degraded and polluted ocean and coastlines. To be successful, change is needed on both land and sea. The NGOs call for: At least 30% of the ocean to be highly or fully protected by 2030, Shift to low-impact fishing; Securing a pollution-free ocean; Planning of human activities that support the restoration of thriving marine ecosystems. 

Press Release available in EN, FR, ES, IT, PT, DE, HR, BG

Blue Manifesto vertical version

Blue Manifesto horizontal version

 

 

Full list of organisations signing the Manifesto: A Rocha (International Marine and Coastal Conservation Programme); Animal latitude; APECE - Portuguese Association for the Study and Conservation of Elasmobranchs; Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation; ASOC - Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition; Asociacion plataforma"El Chorlitejo"; BIOM association; BirdLfie Sverige; BirdLife Cyprus; Birdlife Europe and Central Asia; BirdLife Malta; BirdLife Suomi; Birdwatch Ireland; Bloom; Brot für die Welt; BUND - Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland; By the Ocean We Unite; Climate Action Network Europe; CCB - Coalition Clean Baltic; CFFA-CAPE; ClientEarth; Compassion in World Farming; Cork Env Forum; Cork nature network; Deep Sea Conservation Coalition; Deep wave; DEPANA; DN - Danmarks Naturfredningsforening; DSM - Deutsche Stiftung Meeresschutz; ; DUH - Deutsche Umwelthilfe; Ecologistas En Accion; Ecos; EEB - European Environmental Bureau; ENT Foundation; Environmental Justice Foundation; FANC - Finnish Association for Nature Conservation; France Nature Environnement; Friends of the Black Sea; Friends of the Earth Europe; Fundajia Aquarium; Geota; Good fish foundation; Greenpeace; HOS - Hellenic Ornithological Society; IFAW - International Fund for Animal Welfare Europe; INCA - Iceland Nature Conservation Association; International Programme on the State of the Ocean; Irish Sea Sanctuary; Irish Wildlife Trust; Legambiante; Living Sea; LOB - Latvian Ornithological Society; LOD - Lithuanian Ornithological Society; LPN - Liga para a Protecção da Natureza; LPO - Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux; MARE Foundation; Mare Nostrum; Marevivo; MCS - Marine Conservation Society; MedReact; MedSOS; MEER; MIO-ECSDE - Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development; Mundus Maris; NABU - Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union; Natuurpunt; New Economics Foundation; Ocean and Climate Platform; Oceana; OceanCare; Oceanografica; OMA - Observatório do Mar dos Açores; Otop - Ogólnopolskie Towarzystwo Ochrony Ptaków; Our Fish; PongPesca; Poseidonia green project; Project Aware; Prowildlife; Quercus; ReefCheck; Rethink Plastic Alliance; Retorna; RSPB - Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; SAR - Seas At Risk; Sciaena; SDN - Stichting de Nordzee; Sea First; SEO - Sociedad Española de Ornitología; Slowfood Germany; SMILO - Small Islands Organisation; SPEA - Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves; SSNC - Swedish Society for Nature Conservation; Sunce; Surfrider; SWAN - Sustainable Water Network; T&E - Transport and Environment; TNC - The Nature Conservancy; Tour des deux Amériques solidaire en voilier; Under the pole; WDC - Whale and Dolphin Conservation; WWF; Zero Waste Europe.

20 November 2019

These are our priority actions for the European Commission work programme 2019 - 2024. This report was prepared by Seas At Risk and is backed by our 32 member organisations. The goal of this paper is to highlight our blue vision and how to work constructively with the European Commission to deliver the protection that our oceans urgently require. 

 

Report

 

10 July 2019

Thousands of dolphins, porpoises and whales die in European waters, due to  accidental capture in fisheries nets (bycatch). Today 22 environmental NGOs [1], led by Seas At Risk, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, ClientEarth and Coalition Clean Baltic, jointly called on the European Commission to adopt emergency measures to immediately prevent further deaths and take legal action against 15 EU governments for failing their duty to protect these mammals.

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07 June 2019

What better way to raise public awareness of the challenges faced by our seas and coastlines than by sailing the seas? Staff of new Seas At Risk member, Ecologistas en Accion, will shortly set sail for 1,000 miles on the Diosa Maat, stopping at ports in Northern Spain to inform thousands of citizens of the state of our seas and the problems inherent in high levels of unplanned and unsustainable tourism. The tour will give citizens the opportunity to make their voices heard and to call on policy makers to increase their efforts to tackle these coastal challenges.   

Two issues are at the heart of this sailing campaign. The first is the wide range of human pressures exerted on our seas and ocean, which sees biodiversity loss increasing while overfishing depletes Spanish marine reserves and alters ecosystems. The Save Our Seas petition (launched jointly with environmental organisations across Europe) will be promoted during the campaign, seeking to collect thousands of signatures from tourists and Spanish residents alike, in a bid to pressure politicians to honour their legal commitment to making European seas healthy by 2020.

The second issue that Ecologistas en Accion will address during the sailing campaign is the phenomenon of excessive tourism. Current related problems are unregulated building and frequent sewage pollution. As a favourite destinations of highly polluting cruise lines, Spain experiences coastal air quality impacts and associated health conditions among residents. A recent study calculated that luxury cruise giant Carnival Corporation emits 10 times more air pollution (SOx) than all of Europe’s cars. Ecologistas en Accion seeks to raise awareness of the importance of local community action to balance tourists and residents, as well as highlighting the role of politicians at local and international level in setting out clear rules for clean maritime transport and reduced air pollution.

Citizens must be aware of what is at stake in their environment. Small lifestyle changes at an individual level can build to make a real difference, while a better informed population can exert important pressure on politicians to tackle environmental problems ambitiously and with greater vision.

06 June 2019

3, 2, 1… World Oceans Day 2019! On Saturday 8 June, Seas At Risk members, together with thousands of activists, volunteers and citizens across Europe, will celebrate World Oceans Day.

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05 June 2019

For Seas At Risk and its members, every day is World Oceans Day, as we constantly strive to defend the marine world. World Oceans Day, however, provides an important opportunity to speak out a little louder and remind our policy makers of the urgent action needed to tackle the pressures on the ocean. Similarly, it showcases the depth of feeling that European citizens have for their ocean, an ocean that provides crucial benefits such as food and resources, climate regulation, recreational services and the production of more than half of the oxygen we breathe.

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10 May 2019

On the eve of the European elections, Seas At Risk member, Surfrider Foundation Europe, is pleased to share the results of its recent consultation with European citizens, Voice for the Ocean

This consultation ran from June 2018 to January 2019. It aimed to amplify citizens’ key messages on ocean protection by asking them to choose the topics they want to see prioritised by the EU institutions in the coming mandate to protect our ocean. 

More than 40 partner organisations/networks across Europe actively supported the consultation and over 7,000 citizens from 21 Member States responded. Of the eight topics covered in the consultation (ocean literacy, climate change, oil extraction at sea, sustainable tourism, plastic pollution, maritime transport, marine renewable energy and water quality) three were identified as top priorities: microplastic pollution, offshore drilling and shipping. 

For each topic, respondents were asked what they felt would be the most appropriate EU response, from market restrictions to information, labelling, research or awareness-raising campaigns. 

Most respondents are calling on the EU to ban the intentional adding of microplastics to products (cosmetics, paints, detergents, etc). As far as offshore oil and gas platforms are concerned, respondents are asking the EU to keep the oil in the ground, foster energy transition, and place a moratorium on offshore platforms. Finally, with respect to shipping, respondents overwhelmingly support the idea of a label on products to promote sustainably shipped products.

 

Surfrider now beckons EU citizens to the polling booths, reminding them that the EU has a key role to play in protecting their seas and coastlines. It also asks the EU institutions to consider these citizens’ views on ocean protection in their coming mandate and place the ocean high on their agenda, accordingly. 

10 May 2019

This year’s International Day of Biological Diversity on May 22 is a timely reminder of the fragility of nature. The seventh Global Assessment Report, published on 6 May by the UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, clearly shows that the world is on track for the largest biodiversity extinction wave ever recorded in human history. Up to 1,000,000 species are threatened with extinction, with plant and animal species becoming extinct at one thousand times the rate before humans existed. The causes of this extinction are undoubtedly human: our way of life is killing Earth’s biodiversity.

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08 February 2019

This report was prepared by a group of specialised civil society organisations including OceanCare, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Seas at Risk and Natural Resources Defense Council.The goal of this analysis is to assess the measures proposed by Member States to achieve the Good Environmental Status, focusing on the impact of underwater noise which should not adversely affect the marine environment. 

23 January 2019

Member States of the European Union are set to fail to protect marine wildlife from the impacts of intense underwater noise levels by 2020, despite a requirement to do so under EU marine law. This is the conclusion of a report reviewing the programmes put in place by European countries to tackle the main threats to our seas and ocean, including underwater noise pollution. The report was undertaken by a group of specialised civil society organisations - OceanCare, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Seas at Risk and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), who are extremely concerned over the lack of action.

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14 December 2018

The clock is ticking. The 2020 deadline to deliver healthy oceans is fast approaching. Seas At Risk, together with several NGOs and thousands of  European citizens, is determined to ensure that European Ministers do not ignore the deadline to which they have already made a legal commitment. With a joint NGO call on governments to take 20 measures to progress to healthy seas by 2020, Seas At Risk has launched the “Save #OurBlueLung” campaign to galvanise a strong push towards a bluer future.  

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09 July 2018

As European political parties prepare for the 2019 elections to the European Parliament, Seas At Risk publishes its ‘Manifesto for the sea, calling on politicians to put the protection of seas and oceans high on their election programmes.

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10 April 2018

Seas At Risk, the Coalition Clean Baltic, the Mediterranean Office for Culture and Sustainable Development and the Black Sea NGO Network recommend three priority areas of action through which Member States can restore our marine environment to health by 2020, as foreseen under the Marine Directive. 

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10 April 2018

Sofia, Bulgaria, 10 April 2018:- As the Council of EU Environment Ministers meeting opens today in Sofia, 172,120 signatures from EU citizens calling for the EU to protect our seas and end overfishing were received by State Secretary for Environment of Sweden, Per Ängquist.

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10 April 2018

With less than two years to go before the 2020 deadline, urgent action is needed to safeguard European seas and ensure their continued health and productivity, as required by the EU Marine Directive. An EU-wide coalition of NGOs, led by Seas At Risk, proposes a series of concrete actions to help Member States to deliver on their legal commitment to restore our seas to ‘Good Environmental Status’.

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10 April 2018

On 10 April, EU Environment Ministers gathered in Sofia for an informal meeting of the Environment Council to discuss improvements to the implementation of EU environmental law, among other things. Seas At Risk, WeMove and OurFish were there to give voice to the 172,120 EU citizens who believe that the Member States are failing to deliver on their commitment to clean, healthy and ecologically diverse seas by 2020, as required by the EU Marine Directive. A drastic change in implementation efforts is needed, together with strengthened political will, if healthy EU seas are to become a reality in the next two years.

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15 March 2018

As the second largest maritime area in the world, France has a significant responsibility to protect marine ecosystems. Despite this, it has yet to adopt an ambitious, sustainable coastal and maritime policy. It is time for French citizens to speak up and insist that France develops a maritime policy that centres on environmental considerations and reflects the limits of marine ecosystems.

Between 26 January and 25 March 2018, the French government is consulting the public on its strategies for the four coastlines and maritime areas of mainland France (North and Normandy, Brittany and Loire, Aquitaine, and Mediterranean). These aim to implement the 2017 National Strategy for the Sea and the Coast, taking into account local specificities. As part of this consultation, a participatory online platform provides citizens with information on maritime and coastal issues, proposes a vision for the future of the French coastline and seas, and asks for suggestions to improve coastlines and maritime areas. France Nature Environnement, a French environmental organisation and member of Seas At Risk, has formulated five proposals to ensure that environmental considerations are at the core of the four strategies.

French seas and coastlines support many uses and are subject to a wide range of pressures, including overfishing, coastal construction and port extensions, land pollution, and climate change. The expansion of economic activities, combined with growing demographic pressure, increases the risk of damage to the coastal and marine environment. The economic development mistakes of the past 70 years, which have led to the current ecological and climate crisis, must inform the choices that will be made for existing and emerging coastal and maritime activities.

France Nature Environnement supports strong measures to preserve Marine Protected Areas, support sustainable fishing techniques, combat the harassment of wild dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea, preserve the coastline from erosion and urbanisation, and fight against air pollution from shipping.

Discover and support the France Nature Environnement proposal for each coastal and maritime area:

FNE press release on the public consultation

Normandie et Hauts-de-France

Bretagne et Pays de la Loire

Nouvelle Aquitaine

Corse, Occitanie et Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

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