19 June 2013
Members of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) attending a debate in the European Parliament on new deep sea fisheries legislation, have criticized the proceeding as a deliberate waste of time designed to derail the push for protection.
Mathew Gianni of the DSCC said: "This was a clear and determined attempt to delay the adoption of new legislation to protect deep sea habitats and ensure sustainable deep sea fisheries. There is an urgent need for the European Parliament to get on with the job of drafting this legislation but the deep sea trawl fishing industry's supporters on the Fisheries Committee lead by Parliamentarians from France, Spain, the UK and Ireland attempted to halt it in its tracks. They have already caused one major delay and may try to do so again in the next few months but fortunately the Committee voted today to proceed without further delay to at least the next step in the process."
Both the European Commission and the lead MEP in the Fisheries Committee are proposing strict regulation of deep sea fisheries, including a phase-out of bottom trawling and bottom gillnet fishing for deep sea species.
On June 18the EU Commission indicated that only a relatively small number of vessels would be affected by a phase-out of deep sea bottom trawl fishing and that more deep-sea sharks were caught in EU bottom trawl fisheries than in bottom longline fisheries, the latter being a gear type recognized to have a far lesser impact on deep-sea habitats than bottom trawls.
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