World Oceans Day: The biodiversity of our seas needs help, says MEP Jutta Paulus

Overfishing, pollutants, plastic waste and global warming are driving species extinction in the oceans and displacing marine life from their habitats. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), almost all families of marine organisms in European marine areas are in poor conservation status. But there, where comprehensive, targeted protection measures have been taken over decades, species are recovering.

On the occasion of World Oceans Day on June 8th 2021, Jutta Paulus, lead MEP in the negotiations between the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the Regulation on Maritime Emissions ("MRV Regulation"), comments:

"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, ocean 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."

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