2022 Report on Deep Ocean Fishery Impact Assessments
The impact of deep-sea fisheries on the marine environment calls for effective measures to ensure that fishing does not compromise the commitments established by the United Nations for protecting biodiversity in the deep ocean. An important tool to support those measures is the Impact Assessment (IA) which seeks to identify the damage deep-sea fisheries cause. To accurately show this impact, though, IAs must be designed and carried out effectively. This report by the Fisheries Working Group of the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) reviews a selection of Impact Assessments (IAs) for deep-sea fishing on the high seas to see whether they are sufficiently robust.
This analysis concludes that the reviewed IAs are not able to robustly demonstrate that deep-sea fishing activities on the high seas can be managed to prevent significant adverse impacts on vulnerable marine ecosystems and that fishing is conducted in a sustainable manner.
While there are severe data gaps and other deficiencies in the IAs, this review identifies many simple ways the IAs could be improved such as clarifying data sources and detailing the methods used to conduct an IA. In addition to these simple improvements, the report argues that major existing issues could be addressed by clarifying the information IAs must collect.