Deep Sea: What does Science say?

Declaration of support-September 2013: Over 300 scientists call for elimination of deep-sea bottom trawling and gillneting

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 More…

SCIENCE LAGGING BEHIND

Key Ideas Deep-sea fisheries developed well in advance of scientific knowledge. Today, deep-sea fisheries operate blindly – that is, without the basic knowledge that is indispensable for stock management (biological parameters of species). Despite this, their development (exploratory campaigns to identify new fishing zones) has often been funded by public authorities, through international research institutes More…

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

THE STRATEGY OF THE INDUSTRIAL FISHING LOBBY “An ideology is a closed system of beliefs and values that shapes the understanding and behavior of those who believe in it. Ideologies offer absolute certainty and are immune to contradictory evidence. You cannot change the mind of an ideologue, no matter how sharp your critical thinking and More…

Scientists call for a moratorium

In 2004, 1136 scientists from 69 countries asked the United Nations General Assembly to declare a moratorium on deep-sea, bottom trawl fishing. This historic demand showed unprecedented concern in marine research circles about the exploitation of poorly understood and extremely vulnerable environments. The number of signatures subsequently grew, reaching a total of 1452 in 2006. More…

What scientists say

“The general consensus is that deep-water fisheries are unsustainable and most, if not all, should be closed.” Dr John Gordon of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, one of the authors of the paper: Bailey, DM et al. (2009) Long-term changes in deep-water fish populations in the northeast Atlantic: a deeper reaching effect of fisheries? Proceedings More…

Sustainable deep-sea fisheries: an oxymoron?

An FAO publication (Mace & Sissenwine, “Can Deep-Water Fisheries be managed sustainably”) establishes that there are no substantial sustainable deepwater fisheries  (cf. Table 3, page 68). “Deepwater fisheries have failed to be sustainable (…) This experience clearly points to the need to strictly adhere to the precautionary approach and apply an ecosystem approach”. Richard Haedrich, Professor Emeritus More…

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