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Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority Publishes Updated Fisheries Information Notice

Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority Publishes Updated Fisheries Information Notice

Deep-Sea Species and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) recently published an update to the Fisheries Information Notice (FIN) titled "FFSU-FC-FIN-08-23 Deep Sea Species and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems.” This comprehensive update supersedes the previous FIN 05-17 Deep Sea Species and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems, reflecting the latest legislative updates relating to restrictions on fishing for deep-sea species and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. The updated FIN is now available for access on the SFPA website and can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

Key updates include:

New Legislation: The inclusion of the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1614, which identifies existing deep-sea fishing areas and establishes a list of areas where vulnerable marine ecosystems are known to occur or are likely to occur.

Application Information: Detailed information has been added regarding the application process for deep-sea species fishing authorisations. This addition will help masters of vessels navigate the authorisation procedures effectively.

Map: The updated FIN features an interactive map that highlights the precise locations where Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME) are known to exist. This visual aid will assist fishermen in making informed decisions about fishing activities.

Deep-Sea Species and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem

Deep-sea species are characterised by their occurrence in deep seawaters and exhibit low reproduction rates, slow maturity, slow growth, and long-life expectancies. Many of these species, including the most vulnerable, are listed in this FIN. Any vessel targeting or encountering incidental catches of the species listed may only do so subject to an authorisation. This regulation is essential to protect these fragile ecosystems and ensure sustainable fishing practices.

Your Questions Are Welcome

It is important for all industry members to familiarise themselves with these updates. Compliance with the latest regulations is essential for the sustainable management of our marine resources. If you have any questions or require further clarification on these updates, please do not hesitate to reach out to the SFPA at sfpafood& We are committed to providing assistance and guidance to support compliance with the relevant legislation.


Note for Editor

Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems are special parts of the ocean floor where habitat-forming animals such as, deep-sea sponges, stony corals, sea pens, sea fans, lace corals and black corals form three-dimensional underwater forests. These forests are biodiversity hotspots as they provide habitat, nursery areas and feeding grounds for fish and invertebrates.