29 November 2012
DEEP SPECIES QUOTAS: THE ROT HAS SET IN
29 November 2012
The French Minister of Fisheries, Mr Frédéric Cuvillier, already welcomes the “positive results” concerning deep-sea species quotas: an increase of almost 70% for black scabbardfish and roundnose grenadier, that is to say the main species fished by French deep-sea trawlers.
The French political-scientific strategy, in alliance with some stakeholders, in particular Intermaché’s fleet, succeeded: while recognizing the lack of basic data about exploited stocks (there is still no certainty about the genetic structure of black scabbardfish for example), the scientific advice nevertheless support the French ships.
The Minister dares now to talk about “sustainable fishing”. This abusive language is unacceptable given the fact that those fisheries lead to the catch and the release of 144 species, including endangered shark species, for only three targeted species.
The increase of the quotas that is negotiated at the present time in the Council of the European Union will increase the catch of species characterized by their extreme vulnerability, longevity and low capacity of reproduction and damage deep-sea ecosystems due to the fishing method used: deep-sea bottom trawling.
It is therefore appropriate to salute the ferociously effective lobbying undertaken by the French shipowners, Intermarché first, deployed with the blessing of the Minister himself and some elected officials of Brittany, but certainly not their respect of marine ecosystems, or even the French now convinced that deep-sea bottom trawling miraculously became an exemplary fishing gear.