European Union nations agreed to water down cuts in deep-sea fishing catches last Tuesday, ignoring international advice to close down the deep-sea fishery because certain species face extinction.
Tougher rules on the way fishermen report their catches to authorities by using satellite technology to track their fishing vessels were also agreed.
EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg said EU ministers agreed to phase out catches of orange roughy and deep-water sharks by 2010. Both are also threatened by overfishing.
"Scientists had recommended substantial cuts in these catches,'' Borg told reporters. "The difficulty in this case was to find a balance between the need to reduce fishing pressure on the stocks concerned in a way that would not have devastating effects on the fleets concerned.''
"Deep-sea species are very vulnerable to fishing pressure because of their slow growth rate .... If the EU continues on this path, orange roughy and many other species may suffer a commercial extinction over the next two years,'' said Carol Phua from the World Wildlife Fund.
On other measures, EU ministers agreed on tougher monitoring of vessels to ensure catch quotas are not violated.
Finnish Agriculture Minister Juha Korkeaoja said current practices of log books, filled in by fishermen after their trips would be replaced by electronic reporting through computers.
Satellite imagery will also be used to cross-check fishing boats to verify that they live up to EU rules on where they are allowed to fish and when.
Catches in the Adriatic and around Sicily have declined by as much as two-thirds over the past two decades and, overall, the future of some 100,000 European fishers in the Mediterranean looks increasingly bleak. (AP)
1. satellite n. / adj.
衛星 (wei4 xing1)
例: Russia lauched the first satellite. It was named Sputnik.
2. substantial adj.
充實的 (chong1 shi2 de5)，大量的 (da4 liang4 de5)
例: A substantial increase in supply leads to a drop in market prices.
3. species n.
物種 (wu4 zhong3)
例: There are about 10,000 species of birds alive today.
4. bleak adj.
嚴酷的 (yan2 ku4 de5)
例: With no savings to fall back on, Jane、s future looked bleak.