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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

EC to lead new measures for better protection for deep-sea stocks

New measures to regulate fishing for deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic have been proposed by the European Commission, as deep sea ecosystems and the species that live in them are particularly vulnerable to human activities. The new regulation is intended to ensure that deep-sea species are fished sustainably, that unwanted by-catches decrease, that the impact on fragile deep-sea habitats decreases and that there is more data on the biology of these species.
To this end the Commission proposes a reinforced licensing system and a gradual phase-out of those fishing gears that specifically target deep sea species in a less sustainable manner, namely bottom trawls and bottom-set gillnets. The Commission also envisages specific requirements for the collection of data from deep sea fishing activities. The necessary adjustments to implement these measures may benefit from financial support under EU Funds.
Deep sea stocks can be taken as by-catch in many fisheries. However, there are also fishing vessels that specifically target these species. These are the vessels that are most dependent on these resources and they will have a future only if their activity is managed to be sustainable. This implies first the need to put in place a gradual switch to fishing techniques that are more selective, with less impact on the deep sea habitats.

Source: European Commission