EU moves step closer to ban on deep-sea trawler fishing

A trawler fishing boat. [Jim Champion/Flickr]

After years of setbacks, trawler fishing at depths of over 800 metres may finally be banned by the EU. Our partner Journal de l’Environnement reports

The European Parliament’s rejection of the deep sea trawling ban in December 2013 is now a distant memory. On 6 November this year, the Council of the EU voted to ban bottom trawling in depths of over 800 metres, in order to protect particularly fragile seabed ecosystems. Negotiations can now begin with the Commission and the Parliament.

The Bloom association, a non-profit organisation for the protection of the oceans, said, “After three years of ferocious opposition, France has finally changed its position on deep-sea bottom trawling.” The French government recently backed the Luxembourgish proposal to ban deep sea trawling in European waters deeper than 800 metres.

Just last year, according to a study by the New Economics Foundation, France had offered the largest deep-sea fishing quotas, well above the limits recommended by the scientists of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). It is worth pointing out that trawling will still be permitted in waters deeper than 600 metres.

Ahead of the inter-institutional ‘trialogue’ negotiations, the Bloom Association has called on Isabelle Thomas, a French Socialist MEP and the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the regulation, to support the ban on deep sea trawling. 


Intergovernmental organisation

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