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The AGRI-FISH Council of the EU is gathering in Brussels on December 12th-13th to decide on annual catch limits (TACs) for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea for 2017. Oceana recently released the most comprehensive study of EU fisheries ever and the case for recovering fish stocks is stronger than ever.

This week, the Maltese town of St-Julian’s is transforming into a ‘hotspot’ of scientific discussion on how to improve the incomplete network of Natura 2000 marine protected areas (MPAs). The European Commission, together with scientific experts and NGOs, will critically assess the efforts made by each Member State to protect Europe’s most valuable yet threatened marine species and habitats by designating areas to be protected under Natura 2000.

As we leave the Mediterranean Sea at the end of the summer, we look at the rapid changes wrought on its biota. Our favorite seaside may be undergoing major upheaval by the time we return. A recent spate of records of lionfish from Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus Turkey, Greece and Tunisia serves as clear evidence of a major population explosion. 

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