Beset by continuous delays and with an aggressive campaign by the deep-sea trawling industry, the European Parliament agreed some deep-sea conservation measures, but rejected the elimination of the most destructive fishing practices.
Fishing industry lobbyists recently circulated a document in which they made 10 points (“10 Facts on Deep Sea Fishing – all you need to know…”), each of them designed to persuade MEPs that deep sea bottom trawling is a benign and productive activity. However, the document is full of misrepresentations which together present a highly distorted view of the industry and its impacts. Here we present an objective appraisal of the scientific basis for the ‘facts’ in this document. Far from being ‘facts’, most are simply claims that fall apart on closer scrutiny. We summarise the ten points below, and append a more detailed response later in this document.
Declaration of support: protect the deep sea from destructive fishing.
We, the undersigned, represent the concerned public and include artisanal fishers, development and environmental organisations, and other stakeholders. We share a common interest in restoring Europe’s deep-sea fish populations and ensuring the long-term conservation of deep-sea ecosystems. To that end, we support the prevention of adverse impacts on deep-sea ecosystems, which can be accomplished in large part by phasing out destructive fishing practices and requiring impact assessments for all deep-sea fisheries.