Given the current exceptional situation in Libya, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki has expressed serious doubts about the capacity of the Libyan authorities to ensure full compliance with and enforcement of the measures established by ICCAT for the purposes of conserving bluefin tuna.
In a letter to the ICCAT chairman, the Commissioner explains that, as long as this situation will last, this gives rise to grave concerns in a situation where bluefin tuna is already under serious threat. She strongly believes that Libya is not in a position to honour the rights and to discharge the obligations arising from the ICCAT Convention, including the enforcement and co-operation obligations laid down in its Article IX, as well as the obligation to ensure compliance with and the enforcement of applicable ICCAT Conservation and Management measures.
Accordingly, Commissioner Maria Damanaki considers that the ICCAT Commission should decide that all ICCAT-related fishing activities conducted by vessels entitled to fly the flag of Libya or by other vessels within the waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of Libya be temporarily suspended until Libya is able to ensure the respect of all ICCAT provisions.
Sustainable fisheries and marine environment protection in the Corinthian Gulf: Commissioner Damanaki meets environmental organizations in Athens
Commissioner Maria Damanaki met today with representatives from several environmental organisations at the Delegation of the European Commission in Athens, to discuss sustainability of fisheries and marine environment protection in the Gulf of Korinthos. The meeting focussed on the proposal of regional stakeholders to create marine shelters in the Corinthian Gulf.
Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, welcomed the agreement on conservation and management measures for deep and shallow pelagic redfish in the Irminger Sea (waters between Iceland and Greenland), reached in Reykjavik on 17 March, between the coastal states (Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland), the European Union and Norway.
"I am glad that we reached an agreement on the basis of the EU proposal to ensure the sustainability of the redfish fisheries in the Irminger Sea", stated Commissioner Damanaki.
The measures forseen by the agreement apply with immediate effect.
Commissioner Damanaki is meeting today the members of ‘Fish for the Future’, a cross party campaign group within the European Parliament.
The group aims at promoting reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, to ensure that we have more fish in the sea and so more jobs for fishermen.
Commissioner Maria Damanaki intervened at the seminar "Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing: is it a criminal activity?", organised by Struan Stevenson MEP, under the European Parliament Intergroup “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable development.”.
Transparent planning and management of European waters are needed to balance the interests at play against sustaining the long-term benefit of coastal and marine resources to society. With these objectives in mind, the European Commission has launched a public consultation to explore options for future EU action on Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management.
Today, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the International Maritime Organization launched a study on maritime cooperation in the Mediterranean.
The study will address key issues for promoting the maritime sector in the Mediterranean, by identifying and disseminating best practices regarding working conditions and training to promote maritime employment, maritime surveillance and safety to counter accidental pollution, illicit discharges and trafficking and investment in maritime infrastructure.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki said "It is the beginning of a promising journey and I am glad to launch today the first step of a cooperation with the EIB and the IMO in the domain of maritime affairs in the Mediterranean. The European Union and the International Community must work together towards building a better future for the peoples of the Mediterranean, through Maritime growth that would generate sustainable jobs and prosperity”.
Commissioner Maria Damanaki
On 20 March, Commissioner Damanaki met fishermen's associations of South Greece in Nea Kios. At the event, Commissioner Damanaki addressed the need to apply the Mediterranean Regulation in all fishing activities. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, also sent a message [110 KB] to the event
On 17 March, Commissioner Maria Damanaki will speak at the international conference "Arctic Science, International Law and Climate Change - Legal Aspects of Marine Science in the Arctic Ocean", organised by the German Federal Foreign Office. The conference will focus on melting of Arctic ice.
During her visit to Helsinki to discuss with her Finnish counterparts issues relating to maritime policy and fisheries, Commissioner Maria Damanaki met Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi, Ms Astrid Thors, Minister of Migration and European affaires, and Ms Sirkka-Liisa Anttila, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
Commissioner Damanaki also met representatives of NGOs, fishermen's associations, fishing entrepreneurs and industry.
Commissioner Maria Damanaki intervenes at the plenary debate of the European Parliament on the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean Agreement Area [33 KB] , the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement [34 KB] and the EU strategy for the Atlantic Region [37 KB]