Productive and healthy Seas

 

The seas around Europe are among our finest natural assets, home to some of the world’s greatest populations of seabirds. Recent reform of the Common fisheries policy brings some hope that, after decades of EU fisheries mismanagement, EU fish stocks will recover and fishing could become safer for birds and other biodiversity. However, this will only happen if EU and Member states chose the path of ambitious and robust implementation supported by the right investments. The new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is therefore crucial to support an ecosystem approach to our seas’ resources. Seabird bycatch, pollution, uncoordinated offshore development and climate change are also contributing to the degradation of our marine environment. At the same time, too few Natura 2000 sites that would protect and restore marine wildlife have been identified, and even fewer designated and properly managed.

MEPs Should

  • Demand urgent completion of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas in the marine environment in order to protect key areas for marine wildlife.
  • Demand urgent implementation of the EU Seabird Action Plan across all member states.
  • Ensure that the EU financial mechanisms are accessible and ready to support environmental management measures.
  • Ensure that Multi-Annual Plans for fisheries under the reformed CFP adopt an ecosystem-based approach  and aim to reach MSY by 2015 (or at the latest by 2020)
  • Ensure the new Data Collection Multi-Annual Programme is amended to require monitoring of the wider marine environment in compliance with the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Birds and Habitats Directives and the EU Seabird Plan of Action in order to have scientific evidence to support decision-making and implementation of the legislation.
  • Ensure that the revision of the Technical Conservation Measures framework is fully integrated with the objectives of the MSFD, the Birds and Habitats Directives and the EU Seabird Plan of Action in order to ensure that fisheries are carried out in an environmentally sustainable way.