Groups claim EU allowed electro pulse fishing on false grounds


As the European Parliament prepares to vote on whether to restore the 1998 ban on electro pulse fishing, or to authorize its wide use throughout Europe, a group of NGOs and fisher organizations have sent a joint letter to the European Commission claiming questions over the morality of its 2006 proposal to lift the ban on electric fishing.

According to France’s Bloom Association, the letter reveals expert scientific advice to the commission was blatantly ignored. The NGO has requested the European Commission immediately withdraw all provisions concerning electric fishing from its legislative proposal on the technical measures regulation.

The proposal will be voted on by the European Parliament on Jan. 16 2018.

A number of UK fishing groups, and NGO Our Fish, has also countersigned the letter.

They claim the December 2006 decision to allow a limited number of vessels to use electric current fishing — referring to favorable scientific advice — in fact ignores advice to the contrary.

“Bloom eventually found the document: a STECF (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries) Report from Nov. 6–10 2006. Contrary to the December 2006 European Regulation, which considers that ‘fishing with beam trawl using electrical pulse current should be allowed’, the scientific advice dated one month earlier warns against ‘a number of issues that need to be resolved before any derogation can be granted’.”

“Thus, not only has the scientific body of the European Commission never approved such derogations, but it even explicitly advised the European Commission against granting any. Under the pressure of Dutch fishing lobbies, the European Commission decided not only to ignore its own committee of experts but also to falsely claim scientific guidance in support of its decision to revoke the ban on electric fishing.”

The NGOs and fisher groups signing the letter to the EU claim this is a fishing method with high negative impacts on ecosystems, yet under EU dispensation vessels utilizing the fishing method have been able to claim millions of euros of public money.

Read the full article at Undercurrent News and view the Bloom campaign.

The European Parliament debate and voting papers can be accessed here.

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