European negotiations on electric fishing suspended!

As of 21 June 2018, it became known (but not yet official) that EU negotiations on the Technical Measures Regulation, which include electric fishing, were to be suspended until September 2018. Dutch MEP Peter Van Dalen proposed to hold off negotiations in order to consult RACs (Regional Advisory Councils) on the file.

Are Dutch fishing lobbies getting panicked to see that fishermen and NGOs are now united against them, as shown by the EU-wide mobilization of fishermen and NGOs? Are they losing faith that they can manage to steer scientific production towards their political objectives?

What lies behind such a decision?

Globally, the Technical Measures Regulation is considered an extremely bad file by NGOs and certain MEPs who are extremely worried to see any unified environmental ambition disappear from the goals of the text, its quantified targets and deadlines. As a result, gaining time is the best way to jeopardize the adoption of the file because European elections are coming up extremely soon, with a change of European Commission as well. This suspension of European legislative activities would benefit those who oppose the Regulation and those who oppose the prohibition on electric fishing which is included in the text.

What happens if the negotiations fall through?

If a political agreement is not found asap on electric fishing, then the current legislation would roll over, i.e. it still would be possible to fish with electricity in the North Sea at up to 5% of each Member State’s beam trawl fleet. It may seem small but the radical efficacy of electricity would surely mean the fast demise of any small-scale fishing.

It’s therefore all the more URGENT to call on EU governments to NOT ALLOW that electric fishing continues in Europe.

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Read further

The IFREMER critique of the ICES comparative opinion on electric fishing

Read our document “HAND IN HAND” on the moral corruption in the electric fishing dossier


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