The electro-fishing will be completely prohibited beginning July 1, 2021. After three years of struggle on the european stage, the three european institutions (the Commission, Council and Parliament) have agreed, late in the night of Wednesday, February 13, on the future of the practice in eu waters. A date which is "to ensure a phase-out period to allow the sector to adapt," says the european commissioner for fisheries, Karmenu Vella.
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During this transition, the rules of the game will change for the netherlands. Can continue to use the electro-fishing trawlers that have obtained derogation, with a limit of 5% of the fleet of each country. However, any new waiver will not be granted. As to the scientific research, misused by the Dutch, it will be more strictly regulated. All the permissions that "exceptional" will disappear. The number of boats will therefore be drastically reduced. "In total, forty ships Dutch should lose their authorisation as early as 2019," says a source close to the folder.
The agreement also gives member States the possibility to prohibit or restrict immediately the trawl by pulses in their coastal waters and protect their small-scale fishermen. An idea put on the table by France. If no announcement has been made for the moment, the pressure will be great on Emmanuel Macron to be done. The United Kingdom has already announced its intention to close its waters.
"We come back from far away"
"This is a historic breakthrough" welcomes the mep Younous Omarjee, member of parliament for the european united Left (GUE), maker of the swing of the Parliament in favour of the abolition. "A victory," asserts Yannick Jadot, the head of the list of environmentalists. "We come back from far away," recalls his side Claire Nouvian, founder of BLOOM, the NGO that launched the cry of warning three years ago. Because in 2016, it is towards the liberalisation of the electro-fishing that the european Commission and the european Council (pushed by the netherlands) were headed. Strong mobilization of fishers and its members, France has managed to reverse completely the force ratio. For the Dutch, the pill will be difficult to pass on.
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The celebration, however, is not absolute for the detractors of this method of fishing is considered to be "wild". "A transition period of more than two years, is far too long for the artisanal fishermen," alert BLOOM. An analysis shared by the socialist deputy Eric Andrieu, who fears that there are more sinners artisans the meantime. The introduction of a review clause is an additional element of concern. More ambitious than expected, it will allow a re-opening of the european regulations when new scientific evidence becomes available. In principle, the 28 refuse to have a ban ad vitam aeternam.
The text must now be presented to the member States (at the ambassadorial level - COREPER) before the end of the week. The netherlands will be opposed, but they are isolated and the final decision is taken by qualified majority. The support of the european Parliament is granted. As to the date of entry into force, it will depend on different processes, but should be done prior to the summer of 2019.
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The electro-fishing : a practical brutal contested - Look on Figaro LiveUpdated Date: 15 February 2019, 00:00