European Parliament & Ministers: Invest in our oceans!

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Our oceans have been under attack for decades. Whether through pollution, littering, overfishing, or destroying the seabed, humans are only now understanding how bad the situation is for our oceans.

The state of our oceans in numbers:

  •  ̴ 250 000 seabirds were killed in Portugal, Spain and France from just one oil spill off the Galician coast. [1] [2]
  • ̴ 13 000 vessels with dangerous cargo pass off the Galician coast every year. In Spain, 135 accidents involving oil spills occurred between 1991 and 2016. [3]
  • ̴ 275 000 tons of plastics enters the EU seas every year [4]
  • 85% of Mediterranean fish stocks are overfished [5]
  • ̴ 200 000 seabirds across Europe die in fishing gear every year [6]
  • ̴ 44 000 sea turtles in the Mediterranean drown caught in fishing gear annually [7]

Currently, Members of the European Parliament and national Fisheries Ministers are debating how to spend 6 billion euros of EU taxpayers’ money in the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF). These negotiations will decide which activities to support at sea between 2021 and 2027.

We need to invest at least 1.5 billion Euros (25% of the EMFF) in protecting and restoring our oceans.

There are many actions we must take to help turn the tide on the destruction of our oceans, including:

  • Prevent oil spills: Develop crisis emergency plans that account for nature, and prepare port authorities on how to respond to an environmental crisis
  • Fight against environmental crime: Equip and train coastguards to fight against crime at sea, including illegal fishing and dumping
  • End accidental death of animals: Research and test innovative solutions to solve problems such as seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles being incidentally caught in fishing gear
  • Preserve nature at sea: Set up marine protected areas and give local communities the tools they need to preserve their marine environment
  • Tackle plastics: Establish free waste and recycling facilities in ports to allow vessels to responsibly sort litter collected
  • Research ocean life: Track the movement of seabirds, whales, dolphins, and turtles to protect them better

Together, we can make this happen. Sign this petition now to tell your European politicians that you want to invest in nature at sea.

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This petition is done together with SPEA, SEO Birdlife and LPO

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Sources:
[1] Results of the coastal surveys (SEO/BirdLife 2003. https://www.seo.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Informe_Prestige_SEO_BirdLife.pdf - see page 27).
[2] Experiment to infer the total number of auks affected in Galicia (Munilla et al. 2011. https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1890/ES11-00020.1
[3] https://www.farodevigo.es/galicia/2017/07/03/trafico-barcos-mercancias-peligrosas-frente/1709739.html
[4] http://ec.europa.eu/environment/marine/good-environmental-status/descriptor-10/pdf/MSFD%20Measures%20to%20Combat%20Marine%20Litter.pdf
[5] http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC111924/2018-cfpinfographics_1.pdf
[6]  ICES. 2009. Report of the Working Group on Seabird Ecology (WGSE), 23-27 March 2009, Bruges, Belgium. ICES CM 2009/LRC:10.91 pp.
[7] Casale (2011) Casale P. Sea turtle by-catch in the Mediterranean. Fish and Fisheries. 2011;12(3):299–316. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2010.00394.x



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