The European Parliament today voted on new EU rules governing deep sea fishing. The Greens regretted the failure to back proposals to phase-out destructive bottom trawling (1). Commenting after the vote, Green fisheries spokesperson Raϋl Romeva said:
"Today's vote on EU deep sea fishing rules is totally overshadowed by the failure of MEPs to back proposals to phase-out destructive bottom trawling and gill nets. The devastation caused by these indiscriminate fishing practices on sensitive environments - like sea beds and reefs - as well as on threatened species has been well-documented. Contrary to the bogus arguments against a phase-out, used by a loud but unrepresentative lobby, these proposals will only affect a handful of EU boats but will have enormous environmental benefits. Sadly, MEPs have swallowed the lobbying, hook, line and sinker.
"Overfishing has pushed fishers into ever-deeper waters. As the UN has underlined, these deep sea environments are ecologically fragile, with unique biodiversity and slower life cycles. The proposed new rules aim to protect deep sea species, with sustainable quotas and management plans. However, all this is massively tempered by the failure to support the phasing-out destructive bottom trawling and gillnets."
(1) The Green amendment on phasing out bottom trawling and gill nets was defeated with 342 votes against, 326 in favour.