Deep Sea Conservation Coalition mounts a new campaign to end deep sea fishing

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

Click image to download the document

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition has announced, October 2014, a new campaign and published a leaflet to end deep sea fishing in UK and EU seas. The leaflet states: “Most of the targeted fishing for deep-sea species in UK waters is carried out by French and Spanish fleets.

These fleets are primarily fishing in UK and Irish waters and on the UK’s legal continental shelf in the international waters off Scotland.

France reported a catch of 6,219 tonnes of deep-sea species in 2011, most of which was caught in UK and Irish waters. Spain reported a catch of 5,610 tonnes of deep-sea species in 2011 off Ireland and Scotland, including on the high seas immediately adjacent to UK waters. The UK is suffering greatly from the damage caused

The data published by Marine Scotland lists three main deep-sea species landed by Scottish vessels – black scabbardfish, blue ling and Greenland halibut. In 2012 landings by Scottish vessels in Scottish ports of these three species amounted to 149 tonnes. No landings of these species were reported by other UK vessels in Scottish ports nor did Scottish vessels land any of these species in any other ports in the UK or ports in other countries. In comparison, the total amount of fish landed in Scottish ports in 2012 by Scottish and other UK vessels was 246,537 tonnes.

Thus, the landings of the three deep-sea species accounted for approximately 0.06% of the landings by all UK vessels into Scottish ports in 2012.

The data from Marine Scotland indicates that most of the deep-sea species landed in Scottish ports are landed by foreign (non-UK) vessels. In Scottish ports in 2012, 3,737 tonnes of the three deep-sea fish species were landed by all vessels combined. Of this, 94% of the landings were by foreign vessels, predominantly French and Spanish.

Most of this fish is transported to continental Europe for processing and sale in Spanish and French markets rather than processed and marketed in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK.

There is growing public awareness and demand for improved fisheries management and sustainable seafood. Following public campaigning, the most significant French deep-sea fleet, Scapêche, owned by the Intermarché supermarket chain, agreed to end deep-sea bottom trawling deeper than 800m by 2015, and major French retailers are stopping sales of deep-sea species.

Source: Deep Sea Conservation Coalition leaflet, October 2014. Click here to download the document.

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