| Precis||The deep oceans wealth of marine life, including commercial species of fish, is highly threatened by fast expanding and largely unregulated deep sea fisheries, and should be immediately protected from high seas fishing activities. This is the main finding of a report released today by WWF, the conservation organization, and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.
According to the report - Managing risk and uncertainty in deep-sea fisheries: lessons from Orange Roughy - the depletion of fisheries closer to shore and a rising demand for seafood have led to a rapid expansion of deep-sea fisheries. As much as 40 per cent of the world’s trawling grounds are now in waters deeper than 200 metres. The report reveals for example that Orange Roughy fisheries have been ‘boom and bust’, with stocks fished to commercial extinction in as little as four years. It further stresses that this expanded activity also damages sensitive marines areas, such as seamounts, where many species new to science could face extinction before even being identified. WWF and TRAFFIC are calling for urgent and strong measures, including fishing bans, to be adopted and enforced at the United Nations level in order to protect these areas.