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Published - 10/12/2013

Deep sea loses out, despite passionate support by some MEPs for a phase-out of destructive fishing practices 

In a very close vote in the European Parliament today (10th December 2013) MEPs have rejected the phase-out of destructive deep sea  trawling by just 16 votes - a move that would have protected the deep sea long into the future 

Trawling is probably the most destructive practice in the deep sea – which unlike shallow waters is characterised by a pace of life so slow it is almost static. As a result, unlike its shallow counterpart, it can take a great deal of time to recover from damaging impacts; in some cases up to thousands of years.

A few weeks ago the committee on Fisheries, PECH, voted to improve management, increase protection for vulnerable marine ecosystems and to improve data collection in the deep sea – all admirable steps for conservation

MCS Fisheries Policy Officer, Debbie Crockard says: "Today's ammendement, to phase out of destructive fishing practices below 600m, was supported  by several parties and individual MEPs. The vote was extremely close -  narrowly defeated by 16 votes, despite passionate support from several MEPs.However Parliament voted in favour of all other conservation compromises proposed by the PECH committee, which will be incredibly important for the future protection of the deep sea. Now the ball is in the Council of Ministers court before the three bodies of the EU (the Parliament, the Council and the Commission) come together to discuss the final legislation."

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