Deep-sea fishing vote

10 Dec 2013
The European Parliament has voted against phasing out deep-sea bottom trawling and bottom gillnetting. Credit: Skagman/CC BY 2.0

The European Parliament has voted against phasing out deep-sea bottom trawling and bottom gillnetting. Credit: Skagman/CC BY 2.0

The European Parliament has voted on deep-sea fishing in the North-East Atlantic – and has voted against phasing out deep-sea bottom trawling and bottom gillnetting.

However, the Parliament did agree some deep-sea conservation measures, including requirements to strengthen the scientific basis for setting quotas and to reduce bycatch of deep-sea species. The proposal adopted by the Parliament also contains measures to protect vulnerable deep-sea marine ecosystems by requiring prior environmental impact assessments for deep-sea fisheries and the closure of areas to bottom fishing where such ecosystems are known or likely to occur.

Greenpeace, Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition have all expressed their disappointment on the vote.

European Commissioner Maria Damanaki released a statement following the vote, but did not comment on whether she was happy with the result or not. However, it was the Commission that proposed the gradual phase-out bottom trawls and bottom-set gillnets in July 2012.

“Now that the European Parliament has expressed its views on the proposal, I expect the Council to finally start its work on this regulation. The Commission is ready to facilitate constructive three-party discussions on this proposal. We must work together to protect the vulnerable deep-sea species and their habitats," said Commissioner Damanaki.

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Oceana

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Greenpeace International

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European Parliament

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Pew Environment Group

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European Commission

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