European legislators propose clear rules on prohibited fishing gear
2017-11-23 19:09:45   copyfrom:    hits:

Electric pulse trawling (Photo: Ingerwilms CC BY-SA 3 0)EUROPEAN UNIONThursday, November 23, 2017,01:00 (GMT + 9)Eur

Electric pulse trawling. (Photo: Ingerwilms/CC BY-SA 3.0)


Thursday, November 23, 2017, 01:00 (GMT + 9)


European Parliament Fisheries Commission Members intend to introduce new regulation restricting the use of new fishing methods, such as electric pulse trawling, and allowing for more flexibility for EU fishermen.

These new measures are also intended to limit unwanted catches, especially of juvenile fish, and reduce impact on the environment by prohibiting toxic substances and explosives.

As well as that, they will include general restrictions on the use of towed gear and static nets apart from special provisions to protect sensitive habitats.

These regulations will foresee a ban on practices such as high-grading in order to reduce discarding.

Furthermore, MEPs want the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) to assess innovative fishing gear, covering trial periods of at least four years.

These legislators clarify that the use of such gear would be permitted on a commercial scale only if the assessment shows that it would not lead to “direct or cumulative negative impacts” on the marine environment.

On the other hand, they propose the introduction of regional measures that deviate from the baselines for the seven EU sea basins: North Sea, North Western Waters, South Western Waters, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and waters fished by EU boats in the Indian Ocean and West Atlantic.

These measures would cover inter alia minimum conservation reference sizes, and closed or restricted areas. Member states and the Commission would have 18 months from the entry into force of the regulation to regional rules on mesh sizes.

To grant enough flexibility to EU fishermen and support their work, it would be possible to deviate from these regional rules. This could be done either via a regional fisheries multiannual plan or “delegated acts” by the EU Commission. Member states could submit joint recommendations to this end, and MEPs ask them to “base their recommendations on the best available scientific advice”.

“Regionalisation would allow moving away from micro-management and rigid technical rules towards a more flexible, results-based management approach and would bring local authorities other stakeholders closer to the decision making,” pointed out EPP Gabriel Mato.

The draft text was adopted by 20 votes to 5, with 2 abstentions. The text will now be tabled to a plenary vote in order to get the mandate and start negotiations with the Council.

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