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OSPAR-HELCOM Ministerial Meetings on the protection of the North-East Atlantic and Baltic marine environment, Bremen, Germany, 23 - 27 June 2003

*** Less conversation, more action needed to protect North-East Atlantic and Baltic ***

Last updated: Fri, Jan 13, 2006
Mr Jürgen Trittin, German Minister for the Environment and Chair of the OSPAR-HELCOM Conference receiving WWF's call for action from Stephan Lutter - under the auspices of Neptune, King of the Sea.

Credit: © WWF/ Petra Dörsam

Press release about the outcome of the Bremen conference

The health of the North-East Atlantic and Baltic Sea in critical condition, WWF report shows
A new WWF report launched at the opening of the OSPAR-HELCOM Conference in Bremen, Germany, shows that the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic and Baltic Sea is severely degraded. More...

Download full report

GIS-based presentation on human-wildlife interactions

Do governments protect the treasures of our seas?

A new report released by WWF reveals that European countries are not making much progress toward ensuring that Western Europe’s marine environments are adequately protected.

The report evaluated Western European countries’ performance on protecting their coasts and offshore marine resources. It judged contracting parties to two conventions for the protection of the marine environment of the North East Atlantic (OSPAR) and the Baltic Sea (HELCOM).

Download full WWF report and/or Scorecard!

Taking the temperature on the marine protected area process:
Credit: FluxDesign
WWF's twinning report "Are governments prepared to keep our seas clean?" is also available.

New WWF brochure: Saving the Treasures of the Sea - by creating networks of marine protected areas
in the North-East Atlantic

Imagine a giant bulldozer crashing through the Amazon rainforest, demolishing trees, crushing animals, destroying living systems that are thousands of years old. The equivalent of this is happening on the deep ocean floor, to ancient coral reefs whose mysteries are only just beginning to be revealed.

Watch WWF's Video "Save Europe's Coral Reefs"

Ancient coral reefs under attack

Interview with A. Grehan & A. Wheeler onboard RV Polarstern

Credit: © WWF / Erling Svendsen

Press & News Room
Less conversation, more action needed to protect North-East Atlantic and Baltic (26 June 2003)

Russia opposes efforts to protect Baltic Sea from shipping disasters
(25 June 2003)

The health of the North-East Atlantic and Baltic Sea in critical condition
(23 June 2003)

Poor protection for Europe's marine treasures
(13 June 2003)

Europe's fragile cold water corals receive protection in Norway
(11 June 2003)

Plan to trawl deep sea jewels must be rejected (10 June 2003)

Media backgrounder
(7 May 2003)

Credit: © WWF-Canon / Isaac VEGA
The environmental impact of shipping was not sufficiently addressed by Ministers.

WWF-Spain demonstration in Madrid at the Neptun fountain of Plaza de las Cibeles on 4 December 2002. "Neptun is in mourning. No more Prestiges" 'Prestige' oil spill, Galicia, Spain. Credit: © WWF-Canon / Isaac VEGA

More maritime safety for the Baltic Sea (download as PDF file)

WWF Briefings
WWF's Essentials for the 2003 OSPAR and Joint OSPAR-HELCOM Ministerial Meetings (download as PDF file)

Marine Protected Area Networks (download as PDF file)

Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (download as PDF file)

Sea Use and Spatial Planning (download as PDF file)

Reducing the Fisheries Impact (download as PDF file)

European Marine Strategy (download as PDF file)

Hazardous Substances & EU Chemicals Policy (download as PDF file)

Credit: © Danish Society for Nature Conservation
The environmental impact of fisheries was another central theme on the Ministerial agenda.

In many areas, by-catch rates of small cetaceans exceed the level at which the population can be sustained or survive. Harbour porpoise entangled in gill net.
Credit: © Danish Society for Nature Conservation

Networks of marine protected areas, another important issue for the Ministerial Meetings in Bremen, require appropriate management of human activities, including of practices in fisheries and maritime transport.

More documentation and useful links
What is the OSPAR Convention and Commission?

OSPAR Ministerial Meeting in Sintra, Portugal, 1998

WWF welcomes Sintra Statement (1998)

WWF's proposals for the Bremen Ministerial Declarations (2003)
(go to submission list and download)

WWF Position statement on the draft European Marine Strategy (download as Word file)

WWF showcase examples of offshore marine protected areas in the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR)

HELCOM Baltic Safari: Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPAs)

WWF Offshore Directory – Review of a Selection of Habitats, Communities and Species of the North-East Atlantic (download as PDF file)

ICES Report on the Environmental Status of the European Seas (download as PDF file at German Ministry of Environment homepage)