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Management of deep-sea high seas fisheries
Balancing the conservation of deep-sea habitats and marine resources and sustainable fishing practices in the high seas depends, more than in any other marine area, on the willingness of flag States and vessel operators to adopt sustainable and responsible management strategies. Yet the complex nature of these areas and the legal framework for governance pose significant management challenges.
FAO's work
FAO plays a pivotal role in supporting multiple stakeholders to adopt sustainable management practices in the deep-sea high seas so that these ecosystems and marine living resources are protected from irreversible damage. 
Deep-sea fisheries
Deep-sea fisheries take place at great depths (between 200-2000 meters), on continental slopes, oceanic seamounts, ridge systems and banks, many in waters beyond national jurisdiction. These areas have been increasingly exploited over the last decades mainly by commercial, technologically advanced operations using a variety of gear types.
The importance of deep-sea ecosystems
The deep-sea is the largest habitat on earth. The deep seas (defined as areas deeper than 200m) have biologically significant ecosystems are are home to a diversity of marine living resources. Much is still being discovered about these resources that their habitats. The importance of deep-sea species and ecosystem biodiversity has led to concerns about their increased vulnerability as a result of fishing activities.

Photos courtesy of NOAA/NEFSC, Art Howard, and Steve Lonhart/Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

 
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