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03 March 2014

Brussels, 3-4 March 2014 -- Seas At Risk attended the Healthy Oceans - Productive Ecosystems (HOPE) conference in Brussels at the start of March. 



The conference, organised by the European Commission’s directorate for Environment, focused on the progress on the implementation of the 2008 Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), and brought together numerous NGOs and other stakeholders from all the EU member states. 



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20 February 2014

Brussels, 20th February 2014. Poor implementation, poor coordination, poor integration. This, in a nutshell, is the Commission’s view of progress in implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) so far. 

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29 January 2014

Brussels, 29th January 2014 --- European policy makers have reached a political agreement for the future of EU fisheries subsidies, setting aside approximately €6.5 billion in the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) that will support the EU’s fisheries sector until 2020.

The EMFF will support implementing the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) that was agreed in 2013.

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24 January 2014

Brussels, 24th January 2014 – The new draft ‘Polar Code’ of safety and environmental rules fails to address the looming danger of having non ice-strengthened and poorly prepared ships in supposedly ‘ice-free’ polar waters, environmental organisations have warned.

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15 January 2014

In yesterday‘s plenary session MEPs agreed on the conclusions of a Parliamentary report (1) and voted in favour of the development of a European strategy on plastic waste in the environment. MEPs recognised the dangers of current plastic consumption and the resulting harmful effects on the marine environment, as highlighted previously by the European Commission.

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12 January 2014

The 66th session of the International Maritime Organisation’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC66) this April will see further attempts by industry and countries that support industry by providing “flags of convenience” (ie: countries who allow vessels to use their flags without much control) to undermine the implementation of important ship air pollution agreements.

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09 January 2014

Brussels, 9th January 2014 - Advanced emissions monitoring of large ships calling at EU ports could help save owners and operators of large ships up to €9 million/year, according to a new study [1] published jointly by Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment.

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01 January 2014

A number of important developments in 2013 have opened the way for the possibility of substantial progress on the development of International Maritime Organisation (IMO)green-house gases (GHG) measures for existing ships in 2014.

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18 December 2013

Brussels, 18th December 2013. Fisheries Ministers yesterday evening agreed surprisingly fast on fishing opportunities for European fish stocks in 2014, but failed in many cases to follow scientific advice.

The Ministers’ decisions will see 27 stocks harvested according to maximum sustainable yield (MSY) in 2014, bringing this up to 30 stocks in 2015. This shows some progress, compared to the 25 in 2013, but given that all stocks in EU waters should be managed according to MSY from 2015 on, much remains to be done.

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12 December 2013

Brussels, 12th December 2013 -- On the 14th anniversary of the 'Erika' shipwreck and four years after the adoption of the Erika III Package, Surfrider issued a ‘White Paper on Maritime Safety’ to provide food for thought on the need to bring about a new legislative package on maritime safety in Europe.

In the wake of the Prestige oil tanker disaster off the coast of Galicia in 2002, Surfrider Foundation Europe (SFE) decided to focus on the fight against pollution from maritime transport. For over 10 years, Surfrider has been protecting European coastlines through its programme to prevent accidental water pollution, through its lobbying of public decision-makers and by developing its legal action strategy against discharges by vessels.

On a European and international level, numerous laws and regulations have been adopted to make maritime transport safer. Unfortunately, these are all too often the result of an environmental disaster.

In November 2012, SFE published a report on maritime safety in Europe, aimed at maritime transport stakeholders and at the general public. The goal of the report was to highlight the shortcomings and discrepancies in existing law, and to encourage all concerned parties to be more proactive with regards to the risks. The report was approved by the European Commission and has been consulted by more than 2,500 people. It is available for download in English, French and Spanish at www.prestige10th.com.

On 22 and 23 November 2012, to mark the tenth anniversary of the sinking of the Prestige, SFE organised a transnational conference on maritime safety. NGOs, scientific and legal experts and representatives of local communities who have suffered maritime pollution were given the opportunity to shed light on the topic and share their expertise. The event was one of the first in the process of informing a new legislative package on maritime safety in Europe. Following on from the previous ‘Erika packages’ (EU legislation on oil transport safety), Surfrider has initiated an enhanced dialogue with the various stakeholders, in particular with the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions.

Based on the recommendations resulting from the November 2012 conference, several think tanks and editorial working groups were formed in order to participate in the drawing up of a white paper on maritime safety. The aim of the draft ‘towards an Erika IV package’ is to put maritime safety back on the European agenda.

This initiative would only be the starting point of a pan-European project, which would involve member states’ authorities, the European Parliament and Commission, and the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds. One of the main objectives is to achieve greater consideration of ecological factors.

The white paper deals with four separate topics: consideration of ecological priorities; consideration of human factors; emerging risks; and the idea of a European flag for shipping.

You can see the current white Paper on Maritime Safety from SFE here here. It is also available in French.

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12 December 2013

Brussels/ Strasbourg 12th December 2013 – The Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management Directive was voted today in the European Parliament, with a final outcome that falls short of what is needed to support effective protection of the marine environment. 

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10 December 2013

Strasbourg/Brussels, 10th December 2013 --- The European Parliament voted today and undermined efforts to protect the deep sea from the most destructive fishing practices with the narrow adoption of a weak compromise agreed earlier in the Fisheries Committee by 342 to 326 votes.

“This is a very disappointing moment for the marine environment, leading to waste one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on the planet”, said Dr Monica Verbeek, Executive Director of Seas At Risk. “While the Council decided to stick the head in the abyss and not even look at the file, the Parliament decided to delay any solution for at least 7 years.”

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05 November 2013

The new economics foundation (nef) today released a study that shows how deep sea trawling is too much of a cost to pay.

 

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04 November 2013

The European Commission announced today that it will introduce new measures aiming to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags across Europe.

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04 November 2013

The Fisheries Committee voted on 4th November on the much delayed report revising the management regime for deep sea fisheries in the North-East Atlantic. The Committee disappointed the environmental community by failing to agree on measures to phase-out the most destructive fishing activities.

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21 October 2013

In a surprisingly swift response to civil society concerns about recent spills of PIB in the English Channel, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has agreed to reclassify the chemical and stop its routine discharge.

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30 September 2013

The European Commission presented the initiatives it intends to take to reduce plastic waste. These include a ban on landfilling, strengthen recycling targets, and a proposal to be released in two weeks on limiting single-use plastic bags.

 

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17 September 2013
The new international 'Beat the Microbead' App informs consumers of plastic presence in care products. It is available for free and in five languages.

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16 September 2013
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is celebrating the 2013 World Maritime Day (26th September) with a focus on sustainable development.

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13 September 2013
Welcome back after the holiday season to another issue of the SAR newsletter. Summer 2013 has seen a wealth of activities focusing on marine litter.  

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