Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 8 – 14 August 2022
Six years after the adoption of the EU deep-sea fishing Regulation that prohibited bottom trawling below 800 meters in EU waters, the EU has finally adopted an ‘Implementing Act’ to begin closing coldwater coral and other biologically diverse deep-sea vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) below 400 meters depth to bottom fishing.
Civil society welcomes this long-awaited protection of VMEs. The adopted protective measures are, however, already under threat.
This week, the Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture voted on the European Commission’s proposal to close vulnerable areas to fishing gears which touch the seabed with the majority of EU member states adopted the implementing Act. EU member States had committed to do so in 2016, when adopting the Deep Sea Fisheries Regulation.
The DSCC warmly welcomes this vote and applauds the Commission for steering this process to successful conclusion.
We encourage the Commissioner Sinkevicius and DG Mare to ensure that the implementing act as adopted becomes law without any further delays. Deep sea vulnerable marine ecosystems can not wait any longer for sound protection.
Find out more here.
For immediate release 28 June 2022.
New government information about the deepwater fish orange roughy shows the fish may not reach full maturity until the age of 80, throwing the entire management of the fishery into doubt.
Orange roughy, a long-lived deepwater fish, grow and mature slowly, possibly too slowly to recover from the bottom trawl fishing industry that often specifically targets them when they come together to spawn around seamounts and features. They have recently been found to live to over 230 years old (which is why the industry calls these oldest fish “Napoleons”).
Author: Guy Rogers
Scientists are exploring deep sea refuges, southwest of Gqeberha in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, and their importance to the said the site and its importance to the kingklip, a species of cusk eel that occurs along the South African Coast.
Marine biologist Prof Kerry Sink said that the kinglips unusual “drumming” method of communication underlined the need for progressive new thinking about underwater noise pollution from activities like offshore gas and petroleum seismic surveys.
Environmentalists and recreational fishing groups today heralded the guilty verdict delivered to a Talley’s-owned bottom trawler, the Amaltal Apollo, and its skipper, for illegally bottom trawling on seamounts in international waters.
Author: Andrea Vance
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has joined calls to ban bottom trawling on seamounts.
Clark acknowledged that the ocean is under mounting pressure from the impacts of climate change and bottom trawling, whilst facing a new emerging threat, deep-sea mining.
Source: Otago Daily Times
Author: Oscar Francis
A new mural being painted in Dunedin, New Zealand aims to highlight the environmental damage caused by deep-sea trawlers in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s deep-sea biodiversity hotspots are at risk from the destructive bottom trawling with New Zealand the only country left in the South Pacific to allow the practice.
The mural painted by Artist Cinzah Merkens is the latest in the DSCC’s Defend The Deep series with one in Auckland already completed and one in Ragalan and Wellington yet to come.
Read the article in full here
Author: Ellie Hooper
A new report and interactive map has shone a light on the biodiversity found on Aotearoa’s seamounts, and the risks these ecosystems face, including bottom trawling.
Author: Forest & Bird
Forest & Bird has released photos obtained through the Official Information Act of 29 species of coral fished up from the ocean floor around New Zealand in the last 18 months.