Standing NEAFC request on vulnerable deep-water habitats in the NEAFC Regulatory Area
ICES has updated its vulnerable marine ecosystem (VME) database and distribution maps for the North Atlantic. This includes several areas within the NEAFC Regulatory Area (RA) as well as several new areas outside the NEAFC Regulatory Area, including Greenland, Norwegian, and EC waters. Based on VME indicator records alone ICES advises the following measures within the NEAFC RA:
•Revised boundaries for the Northwest Rockall, the Southwest Rockall, and the Hatton Bank closures
•A new closed area for Edora’s Bank
•Support for an marine protected area (MPA) boundary proposed by OSPAR for the Josephine Seamount area
•Further VME surveys in the area between the recent observations of Lophelia in the NW Rockall closure are recommended.
ICES underlines the need for updated information on fishing activity (vessel monitoring systems (VMS) data) in the NEAFC RA
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee