Call to action for the EU countries: 3 steps to restore our seas by 2020

Despite the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008), most EU countries are a long way off in achieving their targets to protect and restore our seas to healthy status by 2020. The lack of progress is still in many areas such as overfishing, land-made pollution (plastics and contaminants) and marine protected areas (less than 1%).

We, both governments and citizens, have two years left to reach the aim and therefore a concrete and urgent action is needed. CCB has contributed to a joint proposal – led by Seas at Risk and in collaboration with the Mediterranean Information Office for the Environment and the Black Sea NGO Network – consisting of 3 key recommendations for EU Member States, urging them to respect their commitments:

1) End overfishing by:

  • Following scientific advice and setting fishing limits below the maximum sustainable yield exploitation rate.

2) Eliminate pollution by:

  • Phasing out the input of waste into the sea as part of the transition towards a truly circular economy;
  • Using the Precautionary Principle for the handling of all chemical and chemical-based products in society;
  • Increasing financial support for sustainable agriculture, such as ecological recycling agriculture and organic farming, as a starting point to tackle eutrophication;
  • Protecting marine animals from noise pollution from ships and other sea-based activities;
  • Undertaking prevention, eradication, control or management of invasive alien species, taking into account climate change/environmental changes.

3) Halt biodiversity loss by:

  • Banning high-impact human activities in Marine Protected Areas (including fisheries), unless they have no significant impact on marine ecosystems;
  • Protecting species at the top of the foodweb, such as rays and sharks.

Moreover, 172,120 concerned citizens have signed the “Save EU seas by 2020” petition that was delivered on the 10th of April during the EU Informal Environmental Council meeting by Seas at Risk, Our Fish and WeMove.EU.

CCB and the NGOs coalition strongly believe that the fulfilment and the implementation of these recommendations will help to restore our seas and achieve all the MSFD targets by 2020. Failure is not an option.


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