EU quotas could be cut to protect deep-sea fish

The chief of Europe's fisheries has called for stricter quotas to protect exotic deepwater species and a ban on trawling for deep-sea sharks and orange roughy from 2010.

The European Commission wants cuts on fishing quotas next year to range up to 50% of the current quotas, and cuts that extend up to 100% in 2010. These reductions will be debated by EU fisheries ministers in November.

Europe’s deep-sea fish, which live at depths of 400 metres or more, are vulnerable to overfishing because they grow and reproduce far more slowly than fish in shallower waters.

France, Spain and Portugal are the European Union countries with the most developed deep-sea fishing industries, followed by Britain and Ireland.

See full story