After 16 months of deliberations, the European Parliament has agreed on new management measures for deep-sea fisheries. Oceana regrets that a key conservation measure, namely the phase out of bottom trawling and gillnets, which constitute the most destructive and non-selective fishing practices there are, was rejected by only 16 votes.
“We are deeply disappointed that the phase-out of destructive fishing in deep-sea habitats was not voted through. This measure was the most important single step that could be taken to protect these fragile ecosystems from destruction”, Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe stated.
Oceana welcomes the significant steps that were adopted to move towards an improved management of deep-sea fisheries. The European Parliament has decided to double the number of species covered by the regulation and to include a clear framework for setting fishing levels, as well as a specific provision to protect and identify vulnerable marine ecosystems.
“The Parliament did increase the management measures compared to the current regulation, in what is a clear move to improve a weak text that kept deep-sea fisheries practically unmanaged for years”, Xavier Pastor added.
The final agreement will be negotiated between the European Parliament, the European Council and the Commission. The Council now has the responsibility, as co-legislator, to start discussing this file, which is something it has so far refused to do, under strong pressure from the fishing industry. We urge the Council to strengthen this proposal, and to start committing to protecting our fragile depths at last.