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RSPB expresses concern over proposed Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

The Daily Telegraph Business News reports, 10th January 2017: Tidal Lagoon Power wants to build a world-first lagoon in Swansea Bay and is currently awaiting the outcome of an independent Government-commissioned review of the technology’s potential, led by former energy minister Charles Hendry, to be unveiled on 12th January 2017. But in a submission to […]

World’s largest colony of Humboldt penguins threatened

Oceana reports, 12th January 2017: Six hundred kilometres (360 miles) north of Santiago, Chile, the National Humboldt Penguin Reserve reverberates with the braying of 26,000 Humboldt penguins — around 80 percent of the species’ entire population. Sea otters and migrating blue whales glide through the waves close to colonies of nesting seabirds. This global biodiversityBiological […]

Economics and financial cost of Swansea Bay tidal lagoon questioned

Policy Exchange.com and Richard Howard comment, 11th January 2017: If ever there was a textbook example of how to go about Government lobbying and project development, then it is the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project. The developer, Tidal Lagoon Power, has done a frankly incredible job of promoting the project to policymakers and financiers. The […]

Independent report supports Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project

BBC News reports, 12th January 2017: Plans for a £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay have been backed by a government-commissioned review. Charles Hendry’s independent report into the technology’s viability said it would make a “strong contribution” to the UK’s energy supply. Mr. Hendry said it was cost effective and would bring “significant economic opportunity”. […]

Huge Antarctic ice-shelf breakaway predicted, but “not climate related”

BBC News reports, 6th January 2017: An iceberg expected to be one of the 10 largest ever recorded is ready to break away from Antarctica, scientists say. A long-running rift in the Larsen C ice shelf grew suddenly in December and now just 20km of ice keeping the 5,000 sq km piece from floating away. […]

50% or more of shark and ray species in the Mediterranean now endangered

Mongabay.com reports, 6th December 2016: More than 50 percent of the sharks and rays native to the Mediterranean Sea are at a high risk of extinction, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced Monday. The major driver of their decline is over-fishing, researchers say. In the 2016 regional assessment of the Mediterranean Sea, […]

Single Pacific bluefin tuna sold for £½ million at auction, as stock nears extinction

The Guardian reports, 5th January 2017: A bluefin tuna has fetched 74.2m yen (£517,000) at the first auction of the year at Tsukiji market in Tokyo, amid warnings that decades of over-fishing by Japan and other countries is taking the species to the brink of extinction. The 212kg fish, caught off the coast of Oma […]

New fish stocks join CFP discard ban

Worldfishing.net reports, 2nd January 2017: UK fisheries minister George Eustice announced on New Year’s Day that the latest phase of the discard ban for demersalLiving on the seabed species has now come into force. According to DEFRA, the landing obligation — otherwise known as the discard ban — has been gradually introduced to allow time […]

ClientEarth researches enforcement of CFP Rules in England by MMO and IFCAs

The EU has a control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy — this is Council Regulation (EC) No. 1224/2009. This is known in UK law as the “Control Regulation”, and is an essential management instrument to ensure that the CFP’s rules are being observed by fishermen and enforced by […]

Weak enforcement is undermining the Common Fisheries Policy, says ClientEarth

ClientEarth reports, 9th December 2016: EU fisheries law is not being properly enforced and fines for illegal fishing are rare. When fines are given, they are very low — in some regions, the average is as little as €288. This is undermining efforts to end over-fishing. ClientEarth’s new report, which focuses on England, the Republic […]

Marine Management Organisation publishes rules of catching of Bass

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has published guidance, 30th December 2016 on the rules governing the catching of sea bass. These rules read as follows (note: rules are for 2016, but also apply to 2017): If you are a commercial or recreational fisherman for bass you will need to comply with the new rules for: […]

N. Ireland Government announces four new Marine Conservation Zones

The Northern Ireland Government’s Dept. of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has announced: Following a public consultation between December 2015 and March 2016, the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Marine and Fisheries Division in Northern Ireland has designated four new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). The new MCZs are intended to protect clams […]

UK Government publishes its perspective on 2017 fishing quotas

The UK Government (Defra) has published, 14th December 2016, its perspective on the 2017 CFP agreement for UK fishing quotas: The UK government achieved agreements supporting UK fishermen and sustainable fishing at the annual EU talks on fishing quotas. Increased fishing quotas for some valuable species have been agreed at December EU Fisheries Council today, […]

House of Lords publishes Report on Fisheries and Brexit

The House of Lords Committee on the European Union has published a report, 17th December 2016, on how it sees the issues which will determine the future for UK fisheries following Brexit. The Summary of this Report reads: The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has not always been successful in achieving its objectives of managing a mobile […]

Scottish salmon farming “fighting a losing battle” against sea lice

The Aberdeen press and Journal reports, 2nd January 2016: “Campaigners have warned that Scottish salmon farming is “fighting a losing battle” against chemically resistant sea lice. It follows the revelation that the use of toxic chemicals to fight sea lice on salmon farms has soared by almost 1,000% in the past decade. According to official […]

Southern Water fined £2m for gross sewage pollution of Kent beaches

The Guardian reports, 19th December 2016: Southern Water has been fined a record £2m for flooding beaches in Kent with raw sewage, leaving them closed to the public for nine days. The Environment Agency called the event “catastrophic”, while the judge at Maidstone crown court said that Southern Water’s repeat offending was “wholly unacceptable”. The […]

Many CFP 2017 fishing limits set too high, says ClientEarth

ClientEarth, the legal consultancy, reports, 14th December 2016: Over-fishing remains a serious threat to the ocean and to industry, as EU Fisheries Ministers once again set quotas with little regard for the law or scientific advice. The annual limits (quotas, also known as Total Allowable Catch/TAC) cover fish in the North East Atlantic and North […]

Radioactive levels around Bradwell, Essex, may not be safe says scientist

Dr. Chris Busby writes in The Ecologist, 2nd December 2016, with a commentary on the safety of levels of radioactivity in the Blackwater estuary, Essex, where the decommissioned Bradwell nuclear power station is currently seeking a permit to discharge additional radioactivity: “Magnox has applied to dissolve spent nuclear fuel canisters and release the liquid into […]

Marinet suggests that new discharge permits for Bradwell, Essex, would be unlawful

Marinet has made a submission, dated 4th December 2016, to the Environment Agency in connection with the public consultation on whether Magnox Limited, the owner of the decommissioned nuclear power station at Bradwell, Essex, should be allowed to discharge waste radioactivity, heavy metals and nitrates from its existing and new pipeline into the Blackwater estuary. […]

Defra proposes a “tranche three” of MCZs, as Marinet questions their value

CMS Marine and Coastal News reports, 21st November 2016: The Government’s scientific advisors have provided proposals on where a final set of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are needed around England. Leading marine conservation charities, the Marine Conservation Society and The Wildlife Trusts are excited about the plans, which are a positive step forward towards restoring […]

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