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Little increase in deep-sea fishing opportunities 2013-2014

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Tuesday, 09 October 2012

Little increase in deep-sea fishing opportunities 2013-2014

The European Commission has proposed fishing opportunities for the deep-sea fish stocks in EU and international waters of the North-East Atlantic for 2013-2014. Following scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the Commission proposes to increase total allowable catches (TACs) for 3 stocks, a decrease for 13 stocks, and maintain TACs at the current level for 8 stocks (including zero TACs for 6 stocks), compared to 2012.
Fishing at these levels should permit to bring this stock to sustainable levels by 2015. European Commissioner Maria Damanaki, in charge of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, emphasised the importance of preserving deep-sea fishery, in order to avoid overexploiting vulnerable species.
Fishing for deep-sea species has been regulated by the European Union since 2003 in terms of total allowable catches (TACs) per species and area, and in terms of maximum fishing effort deployable in the North-East Atlantic. Deep-sea fish are caught in waters beyond the main fishing grounds of continental shelves and are distributed on the continental slopes or associated with seamounts. Most of these species are slow-growing and long-lived, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fishing.
Deep-sea fish account for approximately 1 percent of fish landed from the North-East Atlantic, but some local fishing communities depend to a certain extent on deep-sea fisheries. The catches – and related jobs - have been declining for years, due to depleted stocks. The Commission recently proposed a new management system for deep-sea fisheries in order to ensure better protection of deep-sea stocks and their habitats.

Source: European Commission