11 July 2016
Source: The Telegram
Author: Ashley Fitzpatrick
Most fishing off Newfoundland and Labrador at shallower depths
Canada does not have a ban on deep-sea fishing and there is no sign of one on the horizon. On June 30, the European Parliament announced a deal reached between fishery ministers and members of parliament to end fishing at depths of 800 metres or more, with added regulations for the 400-metre to 800-metre depth range and restrictions on entry into new areas North.
The informal agreement still requires the endorsement of the European Parliament’s Fisheries committee and the European Council (a plenary vote is expected in November), but follows years of discussion and negotiation on the subject of deep bottom trawling.
“This new provision will protect the fragile vulnerable marine ecosystems of the deep sea bed,” notes the European Parliament’s statement issued on the agreement.
Most bottom trawl fisheries in Canadian waters — including the lucrative shrimp fishery — run at depths of less than 800 metres, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Some fisheries will go deeper, with turbot fishing (Greenland halibut) being one example. But it is still not a free for all.