Under a new EU regulation, Denmark, Germany and Sweden will cease all fishing activities over highly sensitive ‘bubbling’ reefs and end fishing with damaging bottom gear (such as bottom trawls) over reefs in protected Danish waters of the Baltic Sea and Kattegat. Oceana welcomes the new measures, which are the first of their kind in the Baltic Sea and were jointly put forward by the three Member States. The regulation covers ten Natura 2000 protected areas, although the fisheries restrictions only apply to specific reef zones within these areas.
“Managing fishing activities inside marine protected areas is a vital part of ensuring that these sites are actually able to achieve their conservation objectives,” explains Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe. “It is highly encouraging that European governments are willing to listen to reason and invest in real protection of sensitive and ecologically important areas. We encourage them, and other EU Member States, to continue in this direction and, critically, to implement stringent enforcement and control measures to ensure that such measures are fully imposed.”