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18 December 2012

Christmas has come early this year for European fish stocks as the European Parliament’s fisheries committee voted on the most important file of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. On the key topics such as restoring fish stocks to healthy levels, setting fishing limits according to scientific advice, and ending discards, MEPs have expressed their will to lead European fish stocks to a more sustainable future.

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18 December 2012

Four fantastic marine educational resources have been added this month on a variety of marine environmental topics including marine litter and fisheries. We now have 57 resources available and our online ecosystem looks set to continue growing in 2013!

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14 December 2012

Sea First Foundation, a SAR member and Belgian-Dutch NGO, has begun a campaign to encourage restaurants and stores to stop selling all species of tuna, with volunteer ambassadors hitting the streets to spread the word.

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13 December 2012

Seas at Risk member, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has accused the government of a complete lack of ambition to preserve the seas. Out of a recommended 127 marine conservation zones in UK waters, the government has declared only 31 will be protected by the end of next year, none of which will have all activities banned.

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13 December 2012

In both a staff working document and in the draft 7th Environmental Action Programme, the European Commission has proposed an EU wide marine litter reduction target.

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12 December 2012

SAR member the North Sea Foundation has been busy of late, gaining big wins in the Dutch parliament on microplastics and has put harbour porpoises under the spotlight in a major awareness raising campaign for the threatened species.

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07 December 2012

Seas at Risk member the European Environmental Bureau has highlighted the widespread problem of mercury pollution in the world’s oceans and has called on the UN to take immediate action.

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30 November 2012

A new report highlighting the economic benefits of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) in Scottish waters estimates the worth to be £6.3 to £10 billion over 20 years.

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29 November 2012

Today the Council agreed on deep-sea fishing quota for 2013 and 2014, and set them higher than proposed by the Commission for half of the stocks, ignoring the vulnerability of these stocks.

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26 November 2012

At a conference commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Prestige sinking, SAR member organisation the Surfrider Foundation has called on industry and legislators to ensure that our marine and coastal environments are fully protected against maritime impacts.

The event, that was also organised by Surfrider, took the opportunity to review gaps and discrepancies in existing maritime legislation at the regional and global scale. In a report published by the group, it was found that although improvements in legislation have taken place over recent years it is still the case that further safeguards are needed. Surfrider also used the event to call for the adoption of stronger legislation that resulted from the Erika disaster. In this they are calling on the EU to put in place measures to deter against ‘flags of convenience’ – a strategy employed by some ship owners to avoid stringent safety rules. The French based NGO are also calling for new legislation to address issues such as the opening of new Arctic sea routes – an emerging issue that exposes sensitive Arctic ecosystems to the possibility of a major oil spill. Since 2008 Surfider has worked to bring shipping companies responsible for oil spills to justice, with more than 18 shippers now being brought before the courts. The majority of these cases have resulted in heavy sentences with fines totaling approximately 7 million euros. Until the Erika disaster in 1999 and three years later the sinking of the Prestige, European maritime legislation was limited. In response to these disasters, packages of legislation known as Erika I, II, and III were adopted in Europe to tackle shipping pollution. DENMARK RELAXED OVER OIL SPILL RESPONSE An internal report from the Danish Ministry of Defense has revealed that Denmark’s two largest pollution control vessels could only be used to tackle minor oil spills, as they lack equipment to protect crews from the dangerous fumes emanating from fresh crude oil spills. A captain of one of the pollution control vessels who recently resigned from his position told Danish press that Denmark was essentially incapable of responding to a major oil spill and would be reliant on its neighboring countries in the event of a spill. To read Surfrider’s full report To read the story on Danish oil spill response (subscription only)

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19 November 2012

In a letter sent ahead of the November Fisheries Council meeting, Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat are calling on EU Ministers to set quotas for deep sea species that reflect the vulnerability of these stocks given their unique life traits.

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26 October 2012

The U.S. Maritime Administration has decided to end the practice of sinking end-of-use ships and instead will pursue a policy of recycling such vessels.

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25 October 2012

At a conference exploring the use of Port Reception Facilites, Seas At Risk has made a plea for the removal of existing economic disincentives for ships to discharge their waste at EU ports in order to turn Europe into a hub for handling ship waste.

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20 October 2012
In this blog, Seas At Risk's Chris Carroll writes about international developments concerning ship waste dumping and the need for improved reception facilities across the globe so as to help prevent the escalation of marine litter and other marine pollutants.  

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18 October 2012

In a letter sent ahead of the October Fisheries Council meeting, SAR and FISH have made a final call on EU Fisheries Ministers to oppose all proposals that allow aid for new builds, modernisation and/or engine replacements, decommissioning and temporary cessation.

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17 October 2012

12 out of 22 EU Member States have failed to meet a crucial deadline for reporting requirements under the Marine Directive, a Commission scorecard has detailed today. This disappointing finding puts in question whether European states are interested in saving our already fragile marine environment.

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10 October 2012

The European Parliament’s lead Committee reporting on the European Commission’s proposal for regulation on offshore drilling has given into intense lobbying from industry and voted for a major watering down of the proposal.

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09 October 2012

SAR German member BUND has announced the winner of their comic book competition that saw almost a hundred proposals highlighting the problem of marine litter and the inputs that come from ships.

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08 October 2012

EU ministers have signed a Declaration today on a Marine and Maritime Agenda for growth and jobs. Seas at Risk and 18 other environmental NGOs are concerned that such plans will come at the expense of the marine environment and have called on ministers to respect the ‘limits to blue growth’.

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05 October 2012

In a position paper sent to European ministers ahead of Monday’s expected ‘Limassol Declaration’ on the Integrated Maritime Policy, Seas at Risk and 18 other ENGOs have called on ministers to respect the ‘limits to blue growth’ and ensure that strategies to strengthen the maritime economy do not come at the expense of the marine environment.

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