• A Baltic Sea chain reaction

    Author: Mike Mihalitsis
    Date: October 21, 2014

    Big fish eats small fish.

  • European Commission: new faces and new fears for environmental action

    Author: Agata Mrowiec
    Date: October 7, 2014

    The ongoing public hearings of the future European Commissioners before the European Parliament pose many questions and many doubts.

    Last week, we observed the grilling of both Karmenu Vella, a candidate Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Miguel Cañete- for Climate Action and Energy.

  • Vella’s hearing: new combined Fisheries and Environment superportfolio requires great commitment

    Date: September 29, 2014

    Today, the hearing of Maltese Karmenu Vella, Commissioner-designate for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries took place before the joint sitting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and Committee on Fisheries. Karmenu Vella has been interviewed by MEPs for over three hours on his commitment to sustainability and views on his future dossier.

  • Oil drilling in the Canaries – how to stop “petroleum pirates”?

    Author: Agata Mrowiec
    Date: September 26, 2014

    Earlier this week, several European political and social actors met up for the second time in the European Parliament to categorically oppose Repsol’s plans for oil prospects in waters off the Canary Islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura), a project authorized by the Spanish government.

  • Will EU member states live up to their CFP commitments?

    Author: Magnus Eckeskog
    Date: September 16, 2014

    Last Monday, the countries around the Baltic Sea invited stakeholders to discuss fisheries management issues at the Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum, known as BALTFISH. BALTFISH is an informal group established by the fisheries administrations around the Baltic Sea, where they discuss fisheries management issues that only concern the Baltic Sea area in order to facilitate the EU fisheries Council negotiations – regionalization of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) put into practice.

  • A giant footstep towards saving sharks

    Author: Leah Barrett
    Date: September 15, 2014

    Yesterday, the entry of 5 new species of sharks and all manta rays to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) Appendix II went into effect, as agreed on in the CITES meeting last year in Bangkok, Thailand.

    The shark species that are now included in this list are the Oceanic Whitetip, the Porbeagle and three varieties of Hammerhead shark; the Great Hammerhead, the Smooth Hammerhead and the Scalloped Hammerhead. All of these species are listed as threatened on the IUCN RED List.

  • The “perks” of being a conservationist

    Author: Mike Mihalitsis
    Date: September 10, 2014

    A couple of weeks ago, I took a summer course at my University called ‘’International Nature Conservation’’ and I think it’s safe to say that so far, it’s the most interesting course I’ve ever had. Among many issues and subjects, we got to do IUCN species assessments using their criteria, prioritizing areas of interest for protection, and looking into biodiversity hotspots.

  • Live Action Role-Play for the Baltic Sea – Finding new ways to address environmental troubles

    Author: Hanna Paulomäki
    Date: September 5, 2014

    Having worked with the Baltic Sea on the policy and advocacy side for some time now, I sometimes get stuck on how to get more audience and raise awareness around the issue. How can we attract a wider audience and in particular, how can we get more young people interested in the issue?

  • Seismic Surveys and Sharks: a Bad Combination

    Author: Natividad Sánchez
    Date: August 28, 2014

    It is said that the Mediterranean Sea is the world's most dangerous place for sharks and rays, as 4 out of 10 species are threatened. But along with the threat of overfishing, there is another factor that puts these wonderful creatures at risk:  oil exploration. As you might know, we made a list of endangered species living in the area affected by the proposed Cairn Energy oil exploration project in the Gulf of Valencia. Around 180 species are affected in total, and along with some fish, the most vulnerable species are actually sharks.

  • Big Waves, Big Plans

    Author: Christina Abel
    Date: August 14, 2014

    On Sunday morning, we left Sandhamn and sailed northwest to the Gulf of Bothnia where we will carry out more research on marine litter in the Baltic Sea. On board, we are divided into watch teams. This way, everyone takes their turn to work and carry out daily tasks, despite being as inexperienced in sailing as I am.