High seas bottom trawl fisheries and their impacts on the biodiversity of vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems : options for international action

Authors: Gianni, Matthew,

The deep ocean is increasingly recognized as a major global reservoir of the Earth's biodiversity, although but a small fraction of the oceans' ecosystems found at depths below 200 meters have been studied. This report presents findings on the current extent, location and value of high seas bottom trawl fisheries worldwide and the countries involved. It reviews the current governance of high seas bottom trawl fishing, including the standards and obligations established in several relevant instruments. It further highlights significant gaps in knowledge and ocean governance in relation to high seas bottom trawl fisheries. The report concludes that urgent action, specifically a UN General Assembly moratorium on high seas bottom trawling, is essential to protect these biodiversity hotspots.