New report describes European seas as "not healthy or clean"

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 24 June 2015

New report describes European seas as “not healthy or clean Ø A report published by the European Environment Agency today shows that human activities and climate change are putting increasing pressure on European seas.

New report describes European seas as “not healthy or clean Ø A report published by the European Environment Agency today shows that human activities and climate change are putting increasing pressure on European seas. The é’State of Europe’s Seas’ report examines whether the EU is meeting its policy goals for the quality of the marine environment. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive, adopted in 2008, aims to ensure coherence between such EU policies and sets three goals for Europe’s seas: to be é’productive’, é’healthy’, and é’clean’. Based on the data available, the EEA finds that although Europe’s seas can be considered productive, they cannot be considered healthy or clean. Among other topics, the report highlights that: Climate change is already affecting Europe’s marine ecosystems. Hazardous substances are widespread in the marine environment. They can accumulate through the marine food chain and pose health risks to humans. Marine litter, mainly in the form of plastic, is also accumulating in Europe’s seas. Most of the litter comes from land-based activities. Micro-plastics can enter the food web. More than half of the commercial fish stocks assessed are not in good environmental status. Total catches in all fishing regions have been declining in the past ten years. The EU is increasingly dependent on imports of its most widely consumed species: tuna, cod and salmon. While some measures used by the Agency record signs of improvement (in areas such as fishing and nutrient loading), MCS is extremely concerned that actions to achieve basic aims under European laws are unlikely to be enough given the current “Blue Growth Ø agenda being pursued by the European Commission. MCS is particularly concerned that EC laws to protect nature may be undermined in months ahead as a result of a review of regulation by the European Commission, called the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) - you can have your say here.

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