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MEPs vote to end deep-sea trawling below 800m

Staff Writer | December 16, 2016
European Parliament has banned fishing below a depth of 800m in the North-East Atlantic to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems of the deep-sea bed.
Deep-sea trawling
Fish   To protect vulnerable marine ecosystems
The ban will apply to bottom trawling, restrict deep-sea fishing to areas where it took place between 2009-2011 and include tougher checks at sea.

“This deep-sea fishing regulation is highly symbolic. Deep-sea fishing is an economic activity which, besides its social function of providing jobs, also provides food and it has a strong environmental impact,” said Isabelle Thomas, MEP, France.

“We have won an agreement tailors to our priorites and all its aims,” she added.

New regulation also lays down separate rules to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) at depths below 400 metres.

If a catch exceeds set amounts of VME indicator species, then the vessel must stop fishing immediately and resume only when it has moved at least five nautical miles away from where it encountered a VME.

MEPs also inserted stronger transparency safeguards, by including obligations to provide public information on EU vessels targeting deep-sea species and to report all catches.

EU member states will also be required to provide information on the location of vulnerable ecosystems and the EU Commission will assess this data annually and adapt the footprint area accordingly.