Under regulation (EU) 2016/2336, the EU fleet will be banned from bottom fishing in all EU waters >400 metres depth, apart from within the 2009–2011 fishing footprint. Even within the fishing footprint, EU vessels will be prohibited from bottom fishing in any areas that may be closed to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs).
To meet these regulatory requirements, the European Commission has requested ICES to advise on the list of areas where VMEs are known to occur or are likely to occur and on the 2009–2011 deep-sea fishing areas.
WKEUVME is tasked, through three terms of reference (ToR), to produce the technical evidence base for producing a set of regulatory area options using available ICES data. Regulatory area options will vary in the priority given to VME protection and fisheries.
Building on recent efforts (2018 Advice and 2019 WKREG), WKEUVME has established a draft workflow, with respective criteria for area selection, that has been reviewed by the Working Group on the Ecosystem Effects of Fishing Activities (WGECO) .
Workshop outputs will be synthesized in an ecoregion-specific “assessment sheet" with respective regulatory area options detailed for each. These documents will be disseminated to best ensure input at the subsequent WKEUVME meeting with management and stakeholders in Brussels in early September. Preliminary review of the data shows that the relevant deep waters occur in the Celtic Seas and Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast Ecoregions.
This workshop is part of the formal ICES advisory process in response to a request from the EU. As such the workshop report will be peer-reviewed, after which an advice drafting group will be convened to draft advice for approval by ICES Advisory Committee (ACOM).
WKEUVME will take place online. The meeting will start at 13:00 CET on Monday 18 May and end at 15:00 on Thursday 28 May 2020. The workshop is intentionally spread out over a two week period with short plenaries to allow ample time for individual/sub-group tasks.
This workshop is now full.
Note: If the workshop is oversubscribed, ICES reserves the right, in consultation with the workshop chairs, to select the final workshop participants based on their expertise and geographical distribution.