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DEEP-SEA FISHERIES: PROTECTING HABITATS AT RISK, SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE JOBS

Last week, the Commission adopted my proposal to regulate fishing for deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic and phase out those fishing gears that specifically target deep sea species in a less sustainable manner.

To set this proposal right, we needed to strike the right balance: deep-sea fisheries target species and impact ecosystems that are particularly vulnerable. Bottom trawls and bottom-set gillnets in particular, involve high levels of unwanted by-catches (20 to 40 per cent in weight, or more).

On the other hand, wee have to find out the exact social impact of such a proposal. Deep-sea fisheries are limited: they account for about 1% of fish landed from the North-East Atlantic (34.334 out of the total 3.563.711 tonnes, in 2008). But, if the impact of the Commission proposal would be very limited nationally, at the regional level some sensitivity remains: in Brittany, for instance, the French government and the industry reviewed the state of the activity two years ago and estimated that about 180 jobs are linked to the deep sea fishing vessels, mostly trawlers, although those trawlers also operate in other fisheries. Also, 200 fish mongers are specialised in deep-sea fish.

It is obvious that for all these people we need to offer alternatives and provide solutions, supporting financially the necessary adjustments. What can be the answer? The answer is to change fishing techniques and we have all the provisions for a generous co-financing of these projects with European money.

Fishing vessels that specifically target deep-sea species are most dependent on these resources. They will have a future only if their activity is managed to be sustainable: it is in their interest to gradually switch to fishing techniques that are more selective, with less impact on the deep-sea habitats. Otherwise, catches – and related jobs – would continue declining, due to depleted stocks.

DEEP-SEA FISHERIES: PROTECTING HABITATS AT RISK, SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE JOBS, 4.9 out of 5 based on 7 ratings

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3 Responses to “DEEP-SEA FISHERIES: PROTECTING HABITATS AT RISK, SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE JOBS”

  1. Oleg says:

    Indeed, bottom gill nets are fishing gear which is characterized by a high percentage of unwanted by-catch. For bottom trawling, in addition, there is still the problem of mechanical impact on habitats. Do not forget about the other gear, which also are not 100% selective – bottom traps snyurrevody (I do not know how in English) and others.
    The problem is very interesting and, in my opinion, the overall simple mechanism to resolve it does not exist. In each case, most likely, there is a separate decision. The answer can be developed with the involvement of different levels of biologists, lawyers specializing in international and domestic law in the field of fisheries, economists and others.
    At the preliminary level, an idea to solve this problem in sight.

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  2. Edmund Ward says:

    Although I don’t know much about the fishing industry but I can relate on the impact of our current economic status. I realize that there is an inflation of consumer goods but the worker’s compensation is not rising with the demand. Also, with so many things to think about like the impact and what not, I think it is hard to reflect on what should be done for yourself. I remember once when I was falling behind bills because what I spent exceeded what was earned. I definitely learned my lesson in the hardest way, I had to utilize a car title loan but I was able to pay it back quickly. Going back to point, sometimes we aren’t dealt with the right “cards” but we can make the best of it. Like the regulation on deep sea fishing might be a time set to seek different alternatives and pursue a different work goal. Adjusting is the hardest but can be done.

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Last update: 25/07/2014 | Top