Deep-sea Baton Passes to Full European Parliament, Fisheries Committee Fails to Remove Threat

A proposal for a new European Union regulation to protect the deep sea from overfishing and destructive fishing practices in the north-east Atlantic survived the long awaited vote in the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee today as the 25 members of the committee voted on a series of amendments, resulting in both potential gains and losses for the ocean.

Although the committee voted for several measures that would help to protect deep-sea ecosystems such as corals, sponges, and seamounts, it rejected a proposal from the European Commission to phase-out deep-sea bottom trawling and bottom gillnetting, fishing methods widely recognised as posing a particular threat to deep-sea species and ecosystems. The proposal adopted today will now go to the plenary of the European Parliament for a vote currently scheduled for December 2013.

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