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EBFA condemns current initiative to ban bottom fishing at the European Parliament

A vital vote that places European meals safety and sovereignty in danger

Tomorrow, an important vote on the way forward for backside fishing will happen in plenary session on the European Parliament. The results of this swiftly organised vote may show devastating for European residents and the continent’s meals safety and sovereignty. In truth, bottom-trawling vessels play a basic function as meals suppliers, bringing ashore multiple million tons of wholesome and sustainable seafood yearly, which represents round 25% of complete EU landings in weight and worth.

Prohibiting this sustainable meals provide would solely lead to intensifying our imports of fish from overseas international locations the place we now have no management in any respect on its sustainability. In a very tensed worldwide context, the place European meals safety is already threatened by the conflict in Ukraine, European legislators ought to have a look at how you can strengthen this sovereignty reasonably than dramatically weakening it.

Backside fisheries have made great efforts to turn out to be ever extra sustainable

For many years the entire fishing business, in collaboration with EU authorities, has been investing in efficient fisheries administration. On this context, the business has helped mapping the seas to determine weak areas, and in some instances, EBFA members have been proactive in closing areas to fishing when wanted. This has additionally helped figuring out sustainable areas for backside fisheries to function. Because of this, fleets principally function over sandy, excessive wave-action seafloor habitats which might be capable of stand up to this type of fishing effort.

Moreover, EBFA members have closely invested in expertise in order to make their vessels extra selective, use much less impacting methods and scale back their gasoline consumption. The sustainability of backside fishing has been scientifically confirmed, notably within the Atlantic the place almost 100% of the landings from EU-regulated shares come from populations fished at Most Sustainable Yield (MSY) ranges. Totally assessed fish shares within the Atlantic have been rising considerably, reaching in solely 10 years abundance ranges 50% increased than in 2010.

Backside trawling is being banned from MPAs to offer method to industrial actions extra environmentally intensive

Not all MPAs pursue the purpose to guard the seabed: many are established to guard birds or marine species that aren’t impacted by way of backside contacting gears. As such, banning backside contacting gears in all MPAs merely doesn’t make sense.

Furthermore, EBFA members are significantly shocked to notice that whereas NGOs are so keen to guard MPAs towards fishing, they don’t appear to have the identical dedication to guard them from mass nature artificialisation. It appears that evidently the industrialisation of the ocean deliberate by the exponential growth of windfarms, together with in marine protected areas, doesn’t kind a part of their political message, as we now have seen with the instance of the Dogger Financial institution within the UK.

EBFA requires a scientifically information pushed strategy

The EBFA urges members of the European Parliament to organise a science-based debate round this challenge at European stage, with all stakeholders concerned. Ivan Lopez, Chair of EBFA, reacted “It’s unacceptable to see that significantly disputed scientific research – a few of which have even been retracted for an absence of scientific rigour – are the premise of the continuing dialogue. The EU can’t legislate based mostly on emotional campaigns from NGOs with out even wanting first at any Fee’s proposal, the underpinning science and the mandatory political debate. Hundreds of native fishermen and their households would be the victims of undemocratic debates staged by NGOs. Our fishermen’s continued investments in expertise and science, could be annoyed by arbitrary prohibitions. Sure, we will do and can do higher, however so long as we’re permitted to proceed with our conventional exercise”.

Mr Lopez concluded: “We aren’t denying that backside fisheries have an effect on the atmosphere. It’s nonetheless value stating that every thing we do in life as human beings impacts the atmosphere and producing meals isn’t any completely different. Every part we eat prices the planet one thing. Within the fishing sector we do this for an excellent motive: to provide wholesome, sustainable, and nutritious seafood, with a low affect, no pesticides and no freshwater consumption. We’re thus very shocked by this transfer from European Parliament and strongly name on MEPs to evaluate the scenario very fastidiously. This vote can’t be taken frivolously and have to be substantiated by scientific information, which clearly has not been the case but.”

About EBFA

The European Backside Fishing Alliance is a fishing business coalition representing over 20 000 fishermen and seven 000 vessels, starting from artisanal to giant scale backside fisheries in all waters of the EU, coastal and additional in and out third nation waters, which have come collectively to defend, assist and showcase the environmental, financial, social and cultural realities of lively backside fishing gears working throughout the European Union fishing nations.

Supply: Press Launch

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