The 36th Annual Meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) convenes this week (September 22-26) in Vigo, Spain. Of primary concern to conservation organizations is the protection of deep sea species from bottom trawling. While some areas of the deep-sea in the Northwest Atlantic have been closed to fishing over the past several years, scientific advice presented this year indicates that there is poor protection in several areas including deep sea corals, sponges and seamounts as well as other fragile sea floor species.
Source: Halifax Herald
Author: Bruc Erskine
Environmentalists want the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization to do more to protect deep sea species from bottom trawling.
Halifax, Canada: This week, at the 35th annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) deep sea fishing nations agreed to additional measures to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems which include seafloor organisms vulnerable to bottom fishing. Extensions were made to existing closed areas for large gorgonian corals and seapens, and one new protected area was agreed as well.
- PETERSBURG, Russia (Sept. 21, 2012)—Ignoring new scientific evidence about the extent of fragile coral systems within their waters and a range of international commitments, the 34th annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) closed today without adopting any significant deep sea safeguards.
Author: Jack Watling
Source: The Guardian
Observers monitoring European fish quotas are being regularly intimidated, offered bribes and undermined by the fishing crews they are observing, a Guardian investigation has discovered.
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (Sept. 23, 2011)—The 33rd annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) ended today with countries failing to agree on significant, additional measures to safeguard vulnerable deep-sea marine ecosystems. While NAFO has made progress since 2006 in closing certain seamounts and areas of corals and sponges to fishing—including deciding at this year’s meeting to extend those closures until 2014—it has not yet fully implemented a comprehensive assessment of fragile high-seas ecosystems. This was a requirement of the United Nations (U.N.) sustainable fisheries resolutions adopted in 2006 and 2009.
Halifax, Canada: The meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, which concluded today, left conservation organizations disappointed with the failure of NAFO countries to live up to their international commitments to protect the high seas. In 2006, they all agreed through a United Nations General Assembly resolution to conduct environmental impact assessments of deep-sea fishing and to protect deep-sea species and biodiversity. The UN resolution was a compromise in response to calls by numerous governments and conservation organizations for a moratorium on bottom trawling on the high seas.
The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) this week agreed to prohibit high seas bottom fishing, including bottom trawling, in some 2,500 square miles of areas identified by Canadian scientists as containing significant concentrations of corals and sponges. But NAFO failed to agree to implement environmental impact assessments as required by a 2006 United Nations General Assembly resolution to protect deep-sea biodiversity such as cold-water corals, seamounts and sponge ecosystems.
On behalf of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), we extend our best wishes to you for 2009.
We wish to highlight 2009 as an important year for the conservation and protection of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. As of 31 December 2008, high seas fishing States have agreed, under UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 61/105, to prohibit their flagged fishing vessels from bottom fishing on the high seas where regulations have not been established to implement paragraphs 83 – 86 of the resolution.
Update on the implementation of UN GA Res/61/105 With the sustainable fisheries negotiations resuming next week, below is a compilation of the latest news from recent RFMO meetings and their progress towards implementation of UNGA Resolution 61/105 paragraphs 83-86 on the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems from high seas bottom fishing.