A super rare Greenland shark that stranded on a Newlyn's beach in Cornwall has been confirmed to have had an infection of the brain MEPs northwest atlantic measures

 MEPs have endorsed conservation and enforcement measures for Northwest Atlantic area including a prohibition on fishing Greenland Shark

European Parliament Endorses Conservation and Enforcement Measures for Northwest Atlantic Fisheries

At this morning’s plenary session, Thursday 09 November 2023, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have approved enforcement measures for the Northwest Atlantic area.

The endorsed measures focus on research vessels, the closure of maritime regions, and a prohibition on fishing Greenland sharks:

  • Measures for research vessels
  • Closure of maritime region for redfish and prohibition on fishing Greenland shark
  • Cross-listing of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) vessels

The proposal, put forth by the Commission, outlines new responsibilities for EU vessels engaged in research within the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) area. It mandates vessels with an EU country flag to present research plans and specifies requirements for conducting research activities. The endorsed legislation aims to enhance conservation efforts and the responsible conduct of EU vessels in the region.

Parliament’s approval also includes the closure of maritime region 3M once the total allowable catch (TAC) limit for redfish is reached. Additionally, MEPs validated the prohibition of fishing, landing, transhipment, and retention on board of Greenland shark in the Northwest Atlantic regulatory area.

MEPs further endorsed the cross-listing of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) vessels, aligning with decisions taken by NAFO in September 2022. This cross-listing applies to vessels from the other 12 regional fisheries management organisations, reinforcing the EU’s commitment to combating IUU fishing.

The legislation received strong support in the Parliament, with 533 votes in favour, 51 against, and 11 abstentions.

Rapporteur Grace O’Sullivan (Greens, IE) highlighted the significance of this legislation, stating, “This kind of legislation is the cornerstone of EU policy on fisheries and conservation, but it requires constant updating. I was particularly glad to see more protection for the Greenland shark – one of the oldest living creatures on Earth. It is further proof of the importance of EU legislation on fisheries and cooperation with Regional Fisheries Management Organisations such as NAFO.”

The Commission’s proposal, now adopted into EU law, reflects decisions made by NAFO in September 2022. These decisions are binding for all NAFO members, with the EU being a member since 1978. The legislative move by the Parliament aligns with citizens’ demands, as expressed in the conclusions on the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The Commission proposal puts into EU law decisions taken by NAFO in September 2022, which entered into force in December of the same year. They concern the activity of EU vessels in the Northwest Atlantic area. These proposals are binding to all NAFO members. This is the regional fisheries management organisation responsible for managing fishery resources in the Northwest Atlantic. The EU, represented by the Commission, has been a member of NAFO since 1978. With the adoption of this legislation, Parliament is responding to the demands of citizens made in the conclusions on the Conference on the Future of Europe, notably in proposals 1(1) and 2(7).”


Source: Press Release

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