European Union Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg on Wednesday called for hefty quota cuts to protect deepwater species and a ban on trawling for deep-sea sharks and orange roughy beginning in 2010.
Europe's deep-sea fish grow and reproduce more slowly than fish in shallower waters and are more vulnerable to overfishing, says Borg.
EU fisheries ministers will debate the quota recommendations next month. The European Commission wants cuts of up to 50 percent next year, followed by cuts of up to 100 percent in 2010.
For orange roughy and deep-sea sharks, that means no fishing at all two years from now.
"We began reducing catch levels on some of the more vulnerable stocks in 2006, with a view to reaching zero catch in four years. This gradual phase-out has given the industry time to adjust and refocus," says Borg.