"2017 begins under a busy schedule for the newly appointed Maltese presidency of the Council of the European Union. For the next six months, the smallest member of the European Union, in the heart of the Mediterranean, is undertaking an ambitious leadership for the first time.
Maritime affairs, with its potential for growth, competitiveness and job opportunities, will occupy an important part of Malta’s agenda with a special attention to the improvement of the state of the Mediterranean Sea. As stated in its presidential priorities, Malta will be looking towards a political endorsement for the improvement of the international ocean governance and the sustainability of European waters as well as the improvement in sustainability of maritime governance. As the host for this year’s global conference “Our Oceans”, Malta has the chance to lead European efforts in rebuilding the state of our oceans in 2017.
Oceana in Europe welcomes the proposed objectives set by the Maltese presidency and looks forward to the leadership of Malta, particularly in the highly threatened Mediterranean Sea region, where over 90% of fish stocks are currently overfished. The alarming state of Mediterranean fish stocks is the result of decades of mismanagement, misreporting, and illegal fishing. Decision makers have repeatedly ignored scientific advice and failed to set adequate control measures and proper long‐term planning."