Call to Action

The DSCC continues to work with States and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) to effectively implement a series of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions, adopted since 2004, committing nations to take urgent action to manage deep-sea fisheries to protect deep-sea ecosystems and conserve deep-sea species on the high seas of the Atlantic, Pacific, Southern and Indian oceans.

Our priority focus in 2014 is the adoption of a new European Union (EU) regulation for deep-sea fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic, currently under debate within the EU Council of Ministers.

This new EU regulation should contain the following key elements:

  1. A phase-out of deep-sea bottom trawling and bottom gillnet fishing;
  2. Require prior environmental impact assessments for all deep-sea bottom fisheries, including deep-sea fishing in existing fishing areas as well as new fishing areas, before allowing any deep-sea fishing to take place and that the impact assessments be conducted consistent with the globally agreed standards established by the UNGA and the UN FAO International Guidelines for the Management of Deep-Sea Fisheries in the High Seas;
  3. Ensure that the catch of all deep-sea species is regulated and that fishing only be permitted if the catch, including any bycatch or catch of non-target species, can be limited to sustainable levels based on a clear scientific understanding of the status of the species and the impact of fishing;
  4. Require deep-sea fisheries to be managed to prevent the catch of vulnerable, threatened, or endangered species such as deep-sea sharks;
  5. Ensure that all deep-sea fisheries are managed to prevent adverse impacts on vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems such as deep-sea coral, sponge and seamount ecosystems, including through requiring that areas are closed to deep-sea bottom fishing where vulnerable marine ecosystems are known or likely to occur unless conservation and management measures are in place that will prevent significant adverse impacts on such ecosystems.

If you want to take action, please sign these petitions to call on the governments of Spain and France to support the actions listed above in the negotiations for the new EU deep-sea fisheries legislation: