WWF requested for MRAG to undertake two studies to support their internal briefing and decision making. Both were focused on deep sea fishing. The first was an analysis of world deep sea fisheries, focusing on a description of the fleets and operations of deep-water fishing and the sustainability of the stocks. One of the objectives of this study is to identify examples of sustainable deepwater fisheries and how others could become sustainable. It described the major 50% (in terms of tons) deep water fisheries worldwide by target species, including fleets involved, historical developments of the fishery, market chain from source to consumer, gears employed, environmental impacts of the fishery and its overall sustainability.
The second study was an analysis of the economics of the EU deep water trawling fleet in its operations in the North East Atlantic, including, particularly, a description of economic indicators (employment, profit, capital invested, income and employment multipliers, subsidies and taxes). The environment where the fisheries occur was also described in terms of fish species and their characteristics, deep sea demersal habitats and communities, impacts of the fishery on target, bycatch species and the wider environment and the mechanisms taken to avoid detrimental impacts.