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19 May 2008

Increasing levels of man-made greenhouse gases are leading to global climate change with catastrophic long-term implications for the marine environment. Stopping the rise in temperatures is the most important and urgent task facing mankind and requires action by all industries including shipping and fishing.

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07 April 2008

London, 7th April 2008. Last week the International Maritime Organisation successfully negotiated an end to the use by ships of polluting residual heavy fuel oil but made little progress on greenhouse gas emissions.

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31 March 2008

London, 31st March 2008. The 57th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee starts today in London, and GHG emissions from shipping is a key item on the agenda.

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11 December 2007

Brussels, 11th December 2007. A battle of wills between the Council and the European Parliament ended today with the adoption of a Marine Strategy Directive unfit for the purpose of protecting European Seas and acting as the “environmental pillar” of the EU’s new maritime policy.

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16 November 2007

London, 16th November 2007. The annual meeting of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission ended today without an agreement to implement the UN General Assembly resolution on bottom fishing.

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12 July 2007

London, 12th July. Panama today announced that it had completed the process of national ratification of the AFS Convention, ensuring that the Convention will enter into force during 2008.

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15 June 2007

London, 15th June. An extraordinary meeting of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (London, 13-14/6/07) has failed to act on a series of crucial issues, instead agreeing temporary measures until it meets again in November.

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14 June 2007

On June 14th 2007 the European Court considered the case of the Azores against the Council of the European Union. Supported by Seas At Risk and other NGOs, the Azores are trying to protect the fish stocks and unique marine environment in their waters from the fishing fleets of other EU states. The case is important not just because of the need to protect the Azorean marine environment but because the outcome could have an effect on the future integration of environmental considerations into the EU’s common fisheries policy and indeed into EU policies more generally.

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10 May 2007

Brussels, 10th May 2007. A picture taken from space graphically illustrates the damage that is being caused around the world by trawling, one of the most environmentally damaging and energy intensive of fishing techniques.

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07 May 2007

Bremen, 7th May 2007. The conclusions of a stakeholder conference on the EU maritime policy held in Bremen last week appear to have been high-jacked by shipping and port interests.

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07 May 2007

Renaca, 4th May 2007. Up to a quarter of the world's high seas are to be protected from bottom trawling, following a landmark agreement by nations fishing in the South Pacific. Similar action is urgently needed in the N.E. Atlantic.

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20 April 2007

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.

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29 January 2007

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.

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23 January 2007

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.

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21 December 2006

Brussels, 21st December 2006. EU fisheries ministers today continued their annual Christmas tradition of ignoring scientific advice, authorising continued over-fishing, and condemning fish stocks and fishers to a bleak future.

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08 December 2006

New York, 8th December 2006. The United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA) concluded its annual debate on oceans and sustainable fisheries today with the formal adoption of two resolutions, one of which includes controversial measures for high-seas bottom trawling.

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05 December 2006

Brussels, 5th December 2006. Despite consistent advice from fisheries scientists over the last 5 years to stop the catching of cod*, the Commission has again proposed that European fisheries ministers agree fishing opportunities for cod, and reduced those opportunities by just 25% compared with 2006.

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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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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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