European fleets flouting deep sea fishing quotas, study finds

3 October 2012

Source: The Guardian

Author: Lewis Smith

European fishing fleets are flouting quotas for vulnerable deep sea fish and are landing up to 28 times more than allowed, a study has found.

Analysis of fishing data since 2002 has revealed that Europe's fleets exceed half the quotas for deep sea fish, prompting demands for better enforcement of the rules and scathing criticism of European fisheries ministers.

Landings of deep sea fish when quotas are busted are on average 3.5 times greater than the total allowable catch and in some cases were 10 to 28 times higher.

Deep sea fish – usually considered to be those found deeper than 400 metres – are generally slow-growing and late to breed which makes them particularly vulnerable to overfishing. Some stocks, such as orange roughy in European waters, have already collapsed and the research suggests that more will follow unless catches are more strictly limited.

The international team of researchers who uncovered the quota-busting said the findings revealed just how ineffective European fishing regulations can be and how badly they are enforced.

For more, go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/03/deep-sea-fishing-european-fleets