States including France are challenging the EU’s regulations

States including France are challenging the EU's regulations

In mid-September, the European Commission announced a ban on deep-sea trawling in 87 “sensitive areas” in the north-east Atlantic.

Several EU countries, led by France and Spain, on Monday challenged Brussels’ decision to close some areas of the Atlantic to deep-sea trawling, demanding that it be held to account.Updated dataand economic interest of fishermen. The European Commission announced in mid-September that vessels equipped with bottom gear (bottom trawls, dredges, bottom gillnets, bottom longlines, pans and traps) below 400 meters in depth of 87″ will be banned.Sensitive areas» Community Waters in the North-East Atlantic.

The closure, which is intended to protect marine biodiversity – and applies from October – complements a ban on bottom trawling below 800 meters introduced by the EU in 2016 to restore fragile marine ecosystems. “We do not accept form and substance. There was a simple meeting at the end of July and we are not allowed to say that we consulted the states and the players in the region!“, Spanish Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Luis Planas Puchades thundered during a meeting with his European counterparts in Brussels.

The decision was based on a report by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).It is not up-to-date and does not include all targeted fishing methods“, he argued, claimed”To suspend the application“Quantity of Text”Does not take adequate account of available economic data“, added Cyril Piquemal, Deputy Permanent Representative of France in Brussels. He asked “A revision, when publishedA new opinion from ICES is expected in November.

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Fishermen’s organizations protested

Ireland, Portugal, Denmark, Netherlands and Greece also made the same demand. “The survival of the fishing sector, which is subject to difficult economic conditions, must also be considered.“, Greek minister Georgios Georgantas underlined. The text was strongly criticized by fishermen’s associations.

Confronting ministers, Environment Commissioner Virginijs Zinkevičius defended his view.The best decision based on the best available recommendations from ICES and the balance between (environmental) protection and maintenance of fishing activities».

Closing the door to any suspension, he indicated that the text could be revised in the future based on scientific opinions established annually from data provided by states. Commission immediatelyPending scientific recommendations for 2023, open to discussion to facilitate application of text“, which “We cannot predict“, he underlined.

See also – To combat bottom trawling, Greenpeace drops rocks into the sea

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