Deep-sea fishing legislation met with mixed feelings

A proposal from the Fisheries Council for certain deep-sea stocks will see drastic cuts for many fisheries, said Europe’s Association of National Organisations of Fishery Enterprises (Europêche).Such cuts included a 52 per cent reduction in 2015 and a 51 per cent in 2016 for Red sea bream in one particular region (Area IX) – reducing the catch from 780 tonnes in 2014 to just 183 tonnes in 2016. Javier Garat, President of Europêche, said the sector could not afford such cuts in such short spaces of time.“The fishermen targeting this stock will suffer the consequences with no room formanoeuvring. They have contributed to the sustainable fishing through management plans and effort reductions,” he said.Further, Mr Garat noted non-EU countries such as Morocco also fished in the areas in question, yet did not implement high-standard management plans or conform to minimum sizes.“Instead of proposing excessive unilateral restrictions for the sector, the EU should focus on the joint-management of the resource,” continued Mr Garat.Europeche said it was aware of the importance of the sensitive deep-sea fisheriesand was supportive of contributing to more sustainable fisheries management of deep sea stocks – including fully adhering to the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) – albeit without jeopardising the future of the sector.

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