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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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22 November 2006

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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17 November 2006

London, 17th November 2006. After a week of negotiations, the inter-governmental commission responsible for managing deep-water fishing in the North East Atlantic made some progress on improving the protection of deep-water fish and corals, but allowed the tougher decisions to be hijacked by the short-term fisheries interests of isolated Contracting Parties.

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13 November 2006

London, 13th November 2006. The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) will hold its 2006 Annual Meeting from the 13-17th November. On the agenda is a prohibition for orange roughy fisheries (pictured) and a freeze on the expansion of deep-sea fisheries into new, un-fished areas of the North East Atlantic.

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03 November 2006

London, 3rd November 2006. A study in the November 3rd edition of Science (Worm et al, 2006) has drawn a clear link between declining biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services, concluding that “marine biodiversity loss is increasingly impairing the ocean’s ability to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover from perturbations.”

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29 September 2006

Brussels, 29th September 2006. Seas At Risk and the DSCC today accused the European Commission of greenwashing a set of proposals designed to undermine the growing support for a high seas moratorium on bottom trawl fishing.

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31 May 2006

Lisbon, 31st May 2006.

Will the Government of Portugal, one of the European countries that holds the key to resolving the high seas trawling controversy at the United Nations, make a move to secure a strong majority in favour of a high seas bottom trawl moratorium within the European Union? It is too early to say, but there was a ray of hope yesterday in Lisbon at the DSCC Workshop "High Seas Marine Biodiversity: The Bottom Trawling Challenge and the Role of Portugal", attended by eminent representatives of Portugal's academic, policy and NGO community, together with senior government officials.

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20 September 2005

Early in 2004, the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, took the Council of the European Union to the European Court of Justice in an attempt to annul that part of the Western Waters Regulation which in 2004 opened Azorean waters to fleets of other EU Member States. The Western Waters Regulation, a regulation under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), contains little in the way of environmental considerations and contrasts sharply with the more environmentally-friendly fisheries management regime that it replaced.In a ground-breaking development, Seas At Risk, WWF and Greenpeace applied and were granted leave to intervene in support of the Azores. The hearing on the case will take place on the 14th June 2007. If the Azores are successful with their environmental arguments, an important legal precedent could be set for the integration of environmental requirements into the CFP.

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