Measures to Protect VMEs

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Commission adopted a Conservation Measure dealing withBottom Fishing Activities and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems in the SEAFO Convention Area. The newly agreed measure consolidates existing measures aimed at protecting areas which contain concentrations of coral, sponge, and sea-pens. It aims to strengthen SEAFOs response to UNGA Res. 61/105 and further serves to protect the benthos from significant adverse impacts caused by fishing. As a result of the R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen survey conducted in the SEAFO Convention Area in 2015, the Commission agreed to close an additional area of approximately 195km2 adjacent to the Valdivia Bank seamount. The closure will be effective for all gears except pots and longlines. Following several years of exploratory fishing, and based on a recommendation from the Scientific Committee, the Commission has agreed to extend the current “existing bottom fishing area”, in sub-area D, to longline fishing.