EU set to license deep-sea fishing under the CFP

The Pew Foundation reports, 21st October 2014: “On the 10th and 11th November EU fisheries ministers are scheduled to decide on fishing limits for deep sea stocks in 2015 and 2016. This will be done for the first time under the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The deep sea is the area of the ocean lying below the outer edge of the continental shelf. Temperatures are low and little or no light penetrates this part of the ocean. Nonetheless, deep-sea ecosystems are recognized to be high in biodiversitybiodiversity Biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals. including a high diversity of fish species. Because deep-sea species live in rarely disturbed environments and tend to be slow-growing, late-maturing and long-lived, they are exceptionally vulnerable to overexploitation.

The European Commission proposes the following fishing limits for deep-sea species in 2015 and 2016:

  • Set the total allowable catch (TAC), following scientific advice for stocks of three species (orange roughy, alfonsino and greater forkbeard).
  • Delay achieving sustainable fishing rates for two species until 2016 (red seabream in the Azores and off continental Portugal and black scabbardfish).
  • Continue fishing for at least two stocks where scientific advice is to stop fishing (roundnose grenadier in International Council for the Exploration of the Sea [ICES] Area III and red seabream in ICES areas VI, VII, VIII).
  • Add a different species of grenadier (roughhead) to the existing TAC for roundnose grenadier — i.e., set one fishing limit for two different species.

The Pew Foundation comments: “Setting correct fishing opportunities is fundamental to achieving the objectives of the CFP — namely, to end overfishing and to restore and maintain fish stocks above levels capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield (MSY). In line with Pew’s submission to the Commission consultation on the setting of fishing limits in 20154, we urge fisheries ministers to fully implement the commitments made under the new CFP.”

Source: The pew foundation, 21st October 2014. For full details see: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/maritimeaffairs_fisheries/consultations/fishing-opportunities-2015/contributions/doc/pew_en.pdf

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