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This joint NGO letter calls on Commissioner Sinkevičius to ensure proper protection of Deep Sea Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), including seamounts, and deep-sea biodiversity in EU waters more broadly. The letter was co-signed by BirdWatch Ireland, Bloom, ClientEarth, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, Ecologistas en Acción, Nederlandse Elasmobranchen Vereniging, Oceana, OceanCare, Our Fish, Sciaena, Seas At Risk, The Nature Conservancy, Whale and Dolphin Conservation and World Wide Fund for Nature. It highlights the lack of progress so far in closing areas to bottom fishing to protect deep-sea corals and other vulnerable marine species and ecosystems where they are known or likely to occur in EU waters.
In relation to the European Commission’s upcoming draft Implementing Act, we urge the Commission to support and promote the most ambitious option for protection of deep-sea ecosystems in EU waters presented by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in its scientific advice on VMEs: Scenario 2/Option 1 + VME elements.