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Oceans play a fundamental role in regulating Earth’s temperature and the natural greenhouse effect that maintains life as we know it. They are able to do so by acting as a “carbon sink” and absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2).  However, due to our rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions, too much carbon gets into the oceans, lowering their pH and resulting in a phenomenon known as ‘ocean acidification’.

The EU is in the process of reforming its current regulation on deep-sea fishing in the North-East Atlantic. This law dates back to 2002 and has proven to be very ineffective – deep-sea species have not been managed sustainably, and fisheries have been permitted to damage vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems. Do you know the facts about these fisheries and their impacts?

The Shorthorn Sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) is found in Northern Atlantic waters and throughout most of the Baltic, ranging in sizes from 20 to 30 centimeters. It’s a benthic living fish, which means that it lives on the bottom of the sea, where it lays its eggs between the rocks and feeds on crustaceans and small fish. As with many other fish, its eggs are guarded by the male and not the female.

In 2008, EU Member States took an ambitious decision to safeguard and restore the state of European seas by 2020. After years of negotiations, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive was adopted, which aimed at making sure all human activities that impact the quality of our marine environment are addressed. Today, five years since implementation, and with six more years to go, the goal seems more of a challenge to reach.

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