The Footprint (otherwise known as Existing bottom fishing areas) is defined in the NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures as the portion of the NAFO Regulatory Area where bottom fishing has historically occurred. NAFO has also delineated the existing bottom fishing area in response to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA Res. 61/105, paragraph 83) request for Regional Fisheries Management Organizations to regulate bottom fisheries that cause a significant adverse impact on vulnerable marine ecosystems. Comprehensive information about the process used in the establishment of the footprint is contained in FC Doc. 09/20.
Exploratory Bottom Fisheries
Bottom fisheries may be conducted outside of the footprint only if the Exploratory Bottom Fishing Activities protocol outlined in Chapter II of the NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures is followed.