PRESS RELEASE: The biodiversity of our seas needs help!

PRESS RELEASE, Tuesday, 19th of April 2021 – Brussels

The biodiversity of our seas needs help! 

The European Environment Agency (EEA) today published a new report on marine biodiversity in Europe. Almost all groups of marine organisms in European marine areas are in poor conservation status. Despite the very serious situation, the EEA remains hopeful. Species are recovering where comprehensive, targeted conservation measures have been taken over decades. For example, strict regulation has saved the bluefin tuna from complete extinction.
The European Parliament, by a large majority in its proposal to amend the Regulation on the Monitoring of CO2 Emissions from Maritime Transport (“MRV Regulation”), calls for the inclusion of maritime shipping in the European Emissions Trading Scheme ETS. Part of the revenue shall be used to finance a marine fund for the protection of maritime species and habitats.
Green Rapporteur of the MRV Regulation and member of the ENVI committee Jutta Paulus comments:
“Overfishing, pollutants, plastic waste and global warming are driving species extinction in the oceans and displacing marine life from their habitats. We finally need a marine conservation fund to curb the alarming species decline in our oceans. I call on the European Commission to follow the demands of the European Parliament in its proposal for a revision of the European Emissions Trading Scheme ETS and to create a fund to finance marine protected areas. With the help of a European Marine Fund, targeted measures to protect biodiversity can be financed, but also technologies for clean and climate-friendly maritime shipping can be promoted.
The polluter pays principle must finally also apply to our seas. For far too long, shipping has not been subject to any emission reduction measures. The inclusion of maritime shipping in the ETS and the creation of a marine protection fund financed on this basis can make a significant contribution to protecting the oceans and thus our own livelihoods.”
EEA Briefing on Marine Biodiversity: