Pew Critical of EU Council Decision on Deep-Sea Quotas

Pew Critical of EU Council Decision on Deep-Sea Quotas

Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group's European Marine Programme, issued the following statement in response to today's decision by the EU Fisheries Council on deep-sea fishing quotas for 2011 and 2012.


“The Pew Environment Group regrets the Council's decision to set quotas for deep-sea species even higher than the already flawed limits proposed by the Commission. This will give fleets from France, Spain and Portugal the opportunity to continue plundering these stocks. With this decision, the European Union is in breach of its international commitment to protect deep-sea species and ecosystems in the northeast Atlantic.”


“Pew is pleased that the Council has agreed to set the quotas for bycatch of deep-sea shark species at zero. Unfortunately, because deep-sea fishing for other species is still permitted, sharks will continue to be caught.”


“This decision contravenes a 2009 UN General Assembly resolution that commits the European Union to implement a set of management measures 'to ensure the long-term sustainability of deep-sea fish stocks and non-target species, and the rebuilding of depleted stocks' and ‘not to authorize bottom-fishing activities until such measures have been adopted and implemented.'”


“Deep-sea fisheries are plagued with high levels of bycatch and discards, misreporting and non-reporting of catch, and unregulated fishing for many species—hardly the definition of sustainable. The Council can and should do more to protect these vulnerable marine resources.”

More information:

Joint NGO Position Paper on Deep-Sea TACs and Quotas (PDF)
Recommendations for a Council Regulation fixing for 2011 and 2012 the fishing opportunities for EU fishing vessels for certain deep-sea fish stocks

Deep-Sea Fishing in the Northeast Atlantic: An Overview (PDF)
Briefing with the top 10 deep-sea facts

Shrugging Off Criticism, Europe Will Keep Trawling - NYT, Dec 3 2010