BLOOM’s campaign

On this page, you can find the timeline of our campaign against electric pulse fishing, until the victory, together!

October 4 2016: BLOOM sends a letter to the French National Fisheries Committee to co-support a full ban

In this letter, BLOOM asked the Committee to support a full ban on electric pulse fishing, due to our concerns regarding ecosystem impacts and the clear opposition to this technique by French fishers. We have never received any official response to our letter.

February 24 2017: Ségolène Royal requests a moratorium on electric fishing to the European Commission

In a letter sent to Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ségolène Royal (Chair of COP21 and former French Minister of Ecology) advocated for a ban on electric fishing.

April 3 2017: BLOOM recruits a full-time researcher to investigate on electric fishing

Laetitia Bisiaux from engineering school “AgroParisTech” start her intership at BLOOM. She will be instrumental in gathering data and forming BLOOM’s opinion on this destructive fishery.

June 21 2017: BLOOM fights electric fishing at the European Parliament

Thanks to efficient lobbying by the Netherlands, a conference was held in the European Parliament on 21 June 2017 on the issue of electric fishing. BLOOM attended the meeting and delivered a short speech.

October 2 2017: BLOOM files a complaint against the Netherlands

BLOOM’s campaign officially started on the 2nd of October 2017, when we filed a complaint to the European Commission against the Netherlands with regards to their unlawful exemptions.

=> See the media impact of our campaign against electric pulse fishing.

October 2 2017: France’s position is confirmed

French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert confirms France’s official position, following a tweet from Ségolène Royal

October 9 2017: priority question to the European Commission

French Green MEP Pascal Durand submitted a priority question to the Commission regarding the unlawful number of exemptions that were granted to Dutch trawlers. The Commission is supposed to answer withing three weeks, but has not provided any clarification on the matter yet.

November 27: The answer of the Commission can be read here.

“P-006573/2017
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission (27.11.2017)
The Commission is currently examining the complaint lodged by BLOOM and is in the process of verifying the relevant infomation, notably as regards the exact number of licenses granted by the Netherlands pursuing to Article 31a of Regulation (EC) No 850/98[1].
As long as this verification is not completed, the Commission is neither in a position to provide the Honourable Member with an accurate state of play, nor to make any statement concerning compliance with the above-mentioned Article over the years.”

[1]    Council Regulation (EC) No 850/98 of 30 March 1998 for the conservation of fishery resources through technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms, OJ L 125, 27.4.1998, p. 1–36

November 2 2017: BLOOM launches a petition against electric pulse fishing

BLOOM launched a petition against electric pulse fishing. SIGN IT AND SHARE IT before November 21 2017, date on which MEPs of the PECH Committee will decide whether electric pulse fishing becomes conventional.

petition

November 6 2017: small-scale fishers from Northern France threaten to block ports depending on the outcome of November 21’s PECH vote

Sole netters from Northern France announce that they will block the port of Calais if Members of the PECH Committee of the European Parliament vote for the expansion of electric fishing in Europe.

November 8 2017: small-scale fishers of Europe send an open letter to MEPs

The LIFE (Low Impact Fishers of Europe) platform wrote to MEPs, asking them not to soften the current framework on electric pulse fishing.

November 8 2017: French MEP Paul Christophe requests the French Government to clearly position itself against electric fishing

The answer of the French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert is weak: “we will not defend electric fishing”

November 14 2017: meeting of the shadow rapporteurs at the Parliament

While in Strasbourg for a plenary session, MEPs of the PECH Committee gathered to discuss the Technical Measures Regulation that will set the Commission’s position with regards to on electric pulse fishing before the actual vote in plenary.

November 14 2017: Rt. Hon. Richard Benyon supports our campaign

At a Westminster Hall Debate, UK Minister for Fisheries and the Natural Environment (2010-2013) Rt. Hon. Richard Benyon said: My final point is to ask, please, in the remaining months for which we are in the EU, that we hold it to account to make sure that pulse fishing is banned. […] I applaud the BLOOM Association and other NGOs that are campaigning hard on it” (at 15h22 50s)

November 15 2017: op-ed in Le Monde signed by politicians and scientists

An op-ed is published in Le Monde, in which politicians and scientists ask for a full ban on the destructive fishing method.

According to the signatories, “accepting the development of pulse fishing would also implicitly mean we admit failure: there are not enough fish left for fishers to fill their nets without needing increasingly efficient fishing gears“.

The op-ed was also published in Spanish in EfeVerde and La Vanguardia.

November 15 2017: electric pulse fishing and  BLOOM are featured on main French TV news

France 2, one of the main French TV channels, airs a 5min coverage on pulse fishing in prime time.

November 16 2017: BLOOM requests more transparency to the Dutch lobby

During a meeting facilitated by Seafish in London on November 16 2017, BLOOM reminded Dutch lobby VisNed that we filed a complaint against the Netherlands to the European Commission regarding their illegal licenses. We also asked VisNed’s representative to provide us with the full list of beneficiaries of the 2007-2015 European Fisheries Fund (EFF). The Netherlands is one of the only EU coastal countries (along with Bulgaria, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Portugal) not to have published this list. This is unfortunate, as most vessels using pulse trawls will have been equipped under this Fund.

November 21 2017: BLOOM’s petition gathers over 84 000 votes prior to the PECH Committee vote!

The 84 000 signatures mark was surpassed minutes before the vote on the Technical Measures Regulation by the European Parliament’s PECH Committee. Several MEPs participated to the event: Yannick Jadot (Greens, France), Anja Hazekamp (GUE, Netherlands), Karima Delli (Greens, France), Marco Affronte (Greens, Italy), Pascal Durand (Greens, France) and Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE, France). Thanks to our champions for supporting our campaign against electric pulse fishing, and thanks to all of you who signed the petition!

BLOOM delivers its petition

BLOOM delivers its petition to our champion MEPs against electric pulse fishing

November 21 2017: the European Parliament opens the door to the expansion of electric fishing

The European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee voted for a possible massive expansion of electric pulse fishing in Europe. All the amendments tabled by MEPs under the direct influence of Dutch Fishing industry lobbies – which were loudly present in the room and reminded by MEPs to behave – were adopted.

The main compromise amendment concerning electric pulse fishing in the Regulation on technical measures was adopted by 23 MEPs against 3. It approves the possible limitless commercial expansion of electric pulse fishing in Europe should research fail to demonstrate after four years “direct or cumulative negative impacts on marine habitats”.

The only consolation is that a Plenary vote will occur, so these bad results can still be turned around.

=> Read our analysis here

 

November 21 2017: French MEP Younous Omarjee (GUE) requests a full ban

 

November 24 2017: French MP Erwan Balanant requests a full ban

 

November 27 2017: sole netters from Northern France announce that they want a full ban

Following a meeting in Boulogne-sur-Mer, representatives of the sole netters sector announce that they want a full ban, i.e. no derogation.

November 27 2017: The answer of Karmenu Vella to Pascal Durand

Read the French Green MEP Pascal Durand’s priority question to the Commission and the answer here

“P-006573/2017
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission (27.11.2017)
The Commission is currently examining the complaint lodged by BLOOM and is in the process of verifying the relevant infomation, notably as regards the exact number of licenses granted by the Netherlands pursuing to Article 31a of Regulation (EC) No 850/98<a href=”#_ftn1″ name=”_ftnref1″>[1]</a>.
As long as this verification is not completed, the Commission is neither in a position to provide the Honourable Member with an accurate state of play, nor to make any statement concerning compliance with the above-mentioned Article over the years.”

November 29, 2017: The amended version of the Regulation on Technical Measures is published

Following the vote of 21 November, the final version of the text amended by the PECH Commission is published.

December 4 2017: Fishmongers and processors against electric fishing

Following up on the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee paving the road to electric ‘pulse’ fishing, mobilisation continues and support gets bigger among professionals.

On December 4, the Association des Poissonniers de France – a French organization that gathers 6 400 fishmongers, processors etc. of the fishing sector for their know-how and passion – published an official statement against electric pulse fishing and announced the boycott of seafood from the Netherlands. This measure will be hold until electric fishing is completely banned in Europe. The group declared that the vote was “unjustifiable and unreasonable”, and also alarmed on the environmental disaster that is taking place.

December 5 2017: Giant French retailer Intermarché against electric fishing

On December 5, giant French retailer “Intermarché Agromousquetaires”asked for a moratorium on electric fishing. Their press release highlighted the negative impacts on marine ecosystems and but also pointed at the economic and social threats for the artisanal fishing sector in the North Sea.

It is the issue of responsible and sustainable fishing that is raised through this new and complementary mobilisation. The rejection by fishmongers, processors and retailers, who are the first concerned by this fishing technique, is a strong signal sent to MEPs. It must be heard. If not, their decision to mainstream electric fishing would be another argument to feed the criticisms against a technocratic Europe that is disconnected from environmental but also social and economic realities.

December 6 2017: The French small-scale fishers platform supports their colleagues from the North Sea

The French small-scale fishers platform brilliantly put into perspective the development of electric fishing and subsequent issues that their artisanal colleagues face in the North Sea. The platform “strongly and unanimously” supports their fellow fishers in their fight against electric fishing. Their words speak volume:

Let’s not be mistaken: with the question of electric pulse fishing, it is once again the industrialisation issue of the artisanal fishing sector in France and Europe that is at stake. If we allow electric pulse fishing like we authorized giant Dutch, British and French trawlers, it will increase the power of industrials. Just like pelagic trawling, Danish seine or any other super effective fishing gear, the rules of the game change each time a new technique, more efficient and more economical, emerges. It causes the smallest and the least performing fishers to go bankrupt and leads the other to embrace this new technique.

December 7: 2017 Small-scale fishers abandoned by their National Committee

Over thirty fishers from the North of France went to Paris to demand the support of their National Committee (CNPEM) in their fight against electric fishing. Their request was clear: they wanted their Committee to show strong public support towards small-scale North Sea fishers and whose fishing resources are looted by the Dutch’s ultra-efficient electric trawls. They wanted their Committee’s support for a total ban of electric fishing in Europe, with no exemption possible. They also asked the Committee’s executives to pressure the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Stéphane Travert, in order to have his support on the file so he could ask for a total ban of electric fishing at Council. Unfortunately, the dice were loaded: the Committee seems to have other fishes to fry than to help small-scale fishers. They clearly support industrial interests rather than French artisanal fishers, even though those interests are Dutch. Their press release was crystal-clear: the Committee has concluded a deal with the Dutch and is open to negotiating with them…

This could be the last round in a decade-long war between industrials and small-scale fishers. This time, the latter might get crushed by the former.

 

December 12, 2017: European petition to stop Electric Pulse Fishing in Europe

It will undoubtedly take time to rid ourselves of this terrible fishing method, but with the support of citizens, we have managed to get deep-sea trawling banned in Europe, so let’s get to work to show what we are capable of together!

European petition to stop Electric Pulse Fishing in Europe

 

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