Tributyltin (TBT) is an active ingredient in certain antifouling paints used on ships and is one of the most dangerous substances ever deliberately introduced into the marine environment. An EU ban on the presence of TBT-based antifoulings on ships hulls in EU ports came into effect on 1st January 2008.Concerns over the effects of TBT on marine life go back many years. When the environmental effects of TBT were felt in inshore areas its use on small vessels was restricted, and in 2001 after similar effects were documented in open waters the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Antifouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention). The AFS Convention took seven years to enter into force and did so on the 17th September 2008 banning globally both the application and presence on ships hulls of TBT-based antifoulings.

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.

Lyme Bay, 23rd January 2007. A storm, a dramatic rescue and now a broken ship beached at a World Heritage Site with its cargo littering the foreshore.