Sweden signals North Sea Conference agenda

Government to focus talks on shipping pollution, sustainable fisheries, law enforcement

Fisheries policies and pollution from maritime transport will top the agenda when Sweden takes over leadership of the North Sea Conference after its fifth meeting next March, environment minister Kjell Larsson said yesterday.

Sweden would push for measures to discourage overfishing and would draft "joint guidelines" for controlling maritime air pollution, oil discharges and refuse, Mr Larsson added. Although both the EU and the Baltic marine environment commission Helcom had strategies for dealing with shipping refuse, these were "inconsistent" and the North Sea Conference was an appropriate forum for attempts to agree on a joint system.

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