11 July 2018
Letter to the new Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
11 July 2018
Our coalition of 26 small-scale and coastal fishers and environmental organisations have joined forces to campaign for a full ban on electric fishing. Today, we send a letter to the new Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union asking for a swift ban on electric fishing in Europe before the end of 2018.
On 1 July 2018, Austria took over the Presidency of the Council for the next six months as part of the rotating mechanism among Member States. The Austrian Presidency follows the Bulgarian one, which ended on 30 June 2018. In this context, our organisations are concerned that Trilogue negotiations on the Technical Measures Regulation have been suspended and have so far failed to tackle the issue of electric fishing. Austria’s Presidency offers the last opportunity to complete this important regulation and to bring about a swift ban on electric fishing in Europe before the end of 2018. The next six months will be a critical period as they precede a long phase of European elections and change of Commission, creating a legislative rush to conclude files.
In this letter, our coalition stresses the urgency to act and to ensure that public policies do not contribute to destroying marine life, livelihoods and the future of the European fishing sector. Electric fishing is a systemic threat to small-scale fishers. Not wrapping up the Technical Measures Regulation under the Austrian presidency would mean jeopardizing the future of these fishers around the North Sea. Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament now have a collective responsibility to stop this fishery before it ravages coastal economies. A status quo on electric fishing is not an option. We need to step up our collective ambition and not tolerate this European exception.