Parliament passes some deep-sea reform


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
December 10, 2013

The European Parliament voted to pass some reforms on deep-sea fishing, but rejected a proposed ban on deep-sea bottom trawling and gillnetting, the subject of a high-profile petition.

Environmental groups called for the ban, including a petition supported by a high-profile ad campaign from the group Fishlove.

The parliament did vote to give final approval to a revamping of the E.U.'s common fisheries policy (CFP), and did pass some regulations regarding deep-sea fishing, but the rejection of the trawling ban irked some groups, including Greenpeace.

"The European Parliament's approach to deep-sea fishing is at best half-hearted. It failed to ban the devastating and indiscriminate practice of bottom trawling," said Justine Maillot, Greenpeace's E.U. fisheries policy adviser. "It is astonishing that subsidized fishing vessels can continue to plough the seafloor with monster nets that crush everything in their path."

The parliament also voted to approve a fisheries agreement between the E.U. and Morocco, which Greenpeace and other activists decried as encouraging overfishing of key stocks such as mackerel.

"Fish like mackerel, sardines and sardinella are important species for communities along the coast of the entire West African region," Maillot said. "Except for sardine stocks, most of them are already fished to, or even beyond, sustainable limits. Increasing the EU catch in the waters of Morocco and Western Sahara will lead to overfishing and conflict with the needs and interests of local people."

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