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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Commission welcomes pioneering move to halt destructive fishing practices
The European Commission has applauded the pioneering decision to prevent damage to vulnerable marine ecosystems which emerged from the extraordinary meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO).
Meeting in Montreal, Canada, NAFO responded positively to the international call of the United Nation General Assembly for Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) to take measures to prevent significant adverse environmental impacts resulting from bottom fishing activities.
The NAFO decision was based on a detailed proposal from the European Union, supplemented by provisions tabled by Canada. The decision is especially significant since bottom-fishing activities are overwhelmingly predominant in the NAFO area.
The provisions adopted will lead to the detailed mapping of the fishing grounds in the NAFO area and an assessment of the impact of current and new fishing on vulnerable marine ecosystems. In addition, procedures have been agreed to ensure that the risk of encountering vulnerable marine ecosystems in new fisheries are minimised.
With the adoption of this measure, the Commission is confident that the obligations and deadlines laid down in the December 2006 UN Resolution have been met. The Commission also believes that this initiative sets an excellent precedent for other RFMOs, such as the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), which are due to examine this issue shortly.
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