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Parliament calls for bottom trawling ban in vulnerable areas, but reject complete ban

MEPs have voted on a draft EU regulation on deep-sea fishing stocks in the North-East Atlantic during December’s plenary session. A vote in favour of a ban on all fishing activities in areas with vulnerable marine ecosystems was passed successfully. The European Commission will make a list of vulnerable ecosystems. However, bottom trawling should not yet be phased out altogether, said MEPs. An amendment calling for a general phase-out of bottom trawling after two years was narrowly rejected by 342 votes to 326, with 19 abstentions. MEPs nonetheless introduced a review clause requiring the Commission after four years to evaluate the impact of the special fishing gear used for deep-sea fishing (especially bottom trawls or bottom-set gillnets) on vulnerable deep-sea species and marine ecosystems. If this evaluation shows that these ecosystems or deep-sea stocks are not sufficiently well protected, the Commission would then have to table a proposal for a general ban on the gear concerned. EU ministers in the Council will now discuss the proposed legislation.

More information – Commission press release

Photo - News Oresund

Issue 30