17 December 2013
On 10 December 2013, the European Parliament voted on a proposal to regulate EU Deep Sea fisheries in the North East Atlantic. The Parliament narrowly decided (by 342 to 326) to reject a proposal to phase out targeted deep-sea bottom trawling and bottom gillnetting.
However, 20 MEPs have since formally corrected their vote, showing that the phase-out would have been accepted (by 343 to 330). This was since noted in a statement by Jean- Paul Besset MEP, a French member of the Green Group who sits on the Fisheries Committee.
While the DSCC understands that this does not affect the formal position of the Parliament, which remains as per the initial vote on 10 December, the coalitionurges the EU Council of Fisheries Ministersto recognize that the majority of the European Parliament clearly supports the elimination of the most destructive deep sea fishing practices including deep sea bottom trawling, and to take this into account when formulating their position on the file.
In a complementary development, two major supermarkets in France, Carrefour and Casino, announced last week that they will no longer sell deep-sea fish species as of 2014. David Parker, a marine biologist from Young’s Seafood Ltd, one of Europe’s leading fish product producers and distributors also stated in a recent debate held by Prospect Magazine that Young’s don’t source deep-sea fish as data is not available on these fisheries to ensure sustainability. Intermarche, the French supermarket chain that owns the bulk of France’s deep-sea bottom trawl fleet,however, continues to sell deep-sea species.
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