Deep-sea fishing below 800m banned in Europe

European Parliament voted the ban of deep-sea trawling below 800m in EU waters on Tuesday.

© Rock Cohen at Flickr

The ban will apply to bottom trawling, a destructive fishing method which wrecks sea bed habitats. It will also restrict deep-sea fishing to the area where it took place between 2009 and 2011.

According to NEW EUROPE, tougher checks at sea and transparent data collection will also be put in application.

“This deep-sea fishing regulation is highly symbolic. Deep-sea fishing is an economic activity which, besides its social function of providing jobs, also provides food and it has a strong environmental impact,” said rapporteur Isabelle Thomas (S&D, FR). “We have won an agreement tailored to our priorities and all its aims,” she added.

The new rules adopted will fix a depth limit of 800 metres below, which will become a no fishing zone.

Helping to protect the vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems, the regulation will also lay down new rules to preserve Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME) with a depth below 400 meters.

Vessels exceeding the set amounts of VME species will have to stop fishing immediately and start again only once moved at least five nautical miles away from where they encountered the species.

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