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Deal to ban deep sea fishing below 800 metres


The balance between the maximum respect of the seabed and its ecosystems and the jobs related to fishing is the greatest virtue of the agreement concluded in Brussels to regulate deep sea fishing, according to the MEP Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (PNV, Basque Country). After four years of negotiations, the European institutions have managed to agree on a regulation that will end the gap in the field since 2003 and the end in previous regulations.

The regulation, which will be adopted in final form by the European Parliament in November, will meet the commitments with the UN to improve the protection of fragile ecosystems that characterize the seabed beyond 800 metres. In addition, Ms. Bilbao said that the content of the new regulation definitely dispels numerous uncertainty of the fishing professionals who can plan on a stable framework their activity and investment.

The main measures of this regulation are the absolute prohibition of trawling below 800 metres depth in the European waters, the restriction of fishing activities in areas already exploited between 2009 and 2011, as well as measures to protect particularly vulnerable areas below 400 metres. In these cases, the existence of scientific reports that argue against fishing for reasons of environmental balance is crucial to prohibit extractive activities.

Finally, in a set of ​​measures to improve the transparency of deepwater activities, an inventory of ships with special permits will be developed while protecting the personal and business data. Public data will be the number of vessels and fishing gear, registration, vessel size, the type of authorization, the state flag, the fishing quota, fishing area and home port.