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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

EU Commission move to ban driftnet fishing meets resistance

Last May, the European Commission announced its intention to put in place a universal moratorium on driftnet fishing in EU waters, citing the need to minimise issues related to the survival of endangered or threatened species protected by EU legislation such as sea birds, turtles, and marine mammals.

“Fishing with driftnets destroys marine habitats, endangers marine wildlife and threatens sustainable fisheries,” said Maria Damanaki, then-European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. “The ban sends out a clear message that we no longer tolerate any irresponsible practices,” Damanaki continued.

The move, however, received cold welcome from some constituencies.

Seafish, a UK-based non-departmental public body working across the UK fishing industry, released a report in late June criticising the proposed blanket ban as unnecessary and disproportionate. Instead, the report suggests that more appropriate action would be to regionalise decision making in this area, in order to help efficiently achieve environmental goals.

Seafish contends that driftnet fishing in the UK is sustainable while other member states in the Mediterranean do face compliance challenges.

Source: ictsd.org