Council of European Union (EU) on 10 November 2014 reached a political agreement to extend ban on deep-sea shark fishing for the European fleet for at least another 2 years. Only Spain and Portugal voted against the ban.
The decision to ban shark-fishing was taken at the meeting of Council of EU on Agriculture and Fisheries in Brussels, Belgium.
Outcomes of the Meeting of Council of EU
• The ban on shark fishing applies to ban in EU and international waters of the north-east Atlantic Ocean.
• The ban was extended as a part of recently reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) that provides for fishing opportunities for deep sea stocks for EU nations for the year 2015 and 2016 taking into account available scientific advice and maximum sustainable yield (MSY).
• The Council also approved catch reductions for species like black scabbardfish (Aphanopus carbo), roundnose grenadier (Coryphaenoides rupestris) and roughhead grenadier (Macrorous berglax), alfonsinos (Beryx spp.), red sea bream (Pagellus bogaraveo) and greater forkbeard (Phycis blennoides).
• The reductions were less than what was recommended by the European Commission to address overfishing and protect vulnerable species.
• Reductions of red sea bream catch for each of the next two years was agreed at five percent, 52 percent and 25 percent, depending on the zone question. The Commission had proposed a catch of 20 per cent, 62 per cent and 34 per cent.
• The total reduction in catch for black scabbardfish was agreed at limiting to eight percent for 2015 and 2016 despite cuts of 20 percent and 14 percent proposed by the European Commission. The biggest beneficiary of this limitation on black scabbardfish is France which is one of Europe's biggest fishing nations.
• Besides, the Council also laid down new rules to facilitate damage claims by victims of anti-trust violations. The Council today also adopted a regulation aimed at improving market transparency for retail investors.
The ban on shark-fishing is a welcome news in protecting vulnerable marine species and it comes few days after the private Indian airline Jet Airways decided to ban shipment of shark fins on the request of Human Society International India.
Who: Council of EU
When: 10 November 2014
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