Conservation Groups Call On European Union to Protect Deepwater Corals Rather Than Its Fishing Fleet

Date: June 29, 2018

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) which represents over 80 non-governmental organizations concerned with protecting the deep sea, called on the European Union to protect deepwater corals, instead of protecting its fleet’s fishing activities on deep sea vulnerable marine ecosystems.

Australia had proposed closing five areas known to contain vulnerable marine ecosystems following the advice of the Scientific Committee. However, the European Union, which has reported that French and Spanish fishing vessels fish in the region, refused to agree to the closures, questioning the scientific advice and the procedure. Spanish vessels have caught around 2000 tonnes of deep water sharks in a year, and some of the areas proposed for closures contain deepwater coral in areas likely to be targeted for Patagonian toothfish by vessels fishing with longlines.

The adopted measure accordingly prohibits all vessels from engaging in bottom fishing but excludes line and trap methods.

“Allowing fishing on known vulnerable marine ecosystems is abhorrent and out of step with United Nations resolutions, good science and the precautionary principle, said Duncan Currie, who is attending the SIOFA annual meeting in Phuket, Thailand for the DSCC. “We are deeply disappointed that the European Union chose to protect its fishing fleet, rather than protecting the known vulnerable marine ecosystems.”

For further information please contact Duncan Currie in Thailand on +64 21 632 335  or
Brittney Francis in the UK on +44 7508 979958

Posted on Categories EU Fisheries