Brussels: EU nations have extended their ban on deep-sea shark fishing for the European fleet for at least another two years, with only Spain and Portugal voting against.
European Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella said yesterday the decision had been taken at a meeting of EU fisheries ministers in Brussels.
Beyond the shark-fishing ban in EU and international waters of the northeastern Atlantic, catch reductions were approved for species including roundnose grenadier, black scabbardfish and red sea bream.
The reductions were however less than what was recommended by the European Commission, which has been aiming to address overfishing and protect vulnerable species.
France, one of Europe's biggest fishing nations, succeeded in limiting the total reduction in catch for black scabbardfish to eight percent for 2015 and 2016 despite cuts of 20 percent and 14 percent proposed for each of those years, depending on the zone, by the European Commission.
Reductions of red sea bream catch for each of the next two years will be five per cent, 52 per cent and 25 per cent, depending on the zone in question. The Commission had proposed 20 percent, 62 percent and 34 percent.