EFTTA to European Parliament Plenary ahead of vital vote : Support the Nature Restoration Law!
Next week Wednesday 12 July, the Members of the European Parliament will be deciding on a fundamental text for EU rivers and marine habitats: the Nature Restoration Law.
European Fishing Tackle & Trade Association (EFTTA), representing the voice of business (over 2,000 manufacturing and wholesale companies, along with 12,900 tackle shops in Europe) depending on the sustainable activities of 25 million European anglers.
This is why, EFTTA supports the Commission’s reasonable proposal for compelling, relatively ambitious but very much-needed nature restoration objectives, in particular those in relation to the restoration of the European aquatic ecosystems.
We request our representatives in the European Parliament that they adopt a constructive position towards this text, and facilitate the rapid approval of this regulation:
Recognise that angling is an environmental low impact activity, and anglers are helping with protection, conservation and restoration of the aquatic environment
Anglers are the eyes and ears of our waterways, the custodians of their future. Anglers are often the first ones to sound the alarm when something is wrong be it pollution, illegal fishing, or invasive species. Tens of thousands of angling volunteers are involved with fish tagging, electrofishing, restocking as well as conservation and restoration of freshwater habitats. Most of these beneficial efforts, worth tens of millions of Euros every year, wouldn’t be done without the angling volunteers. Their positive actions and the low impact of their activities should continue allowing them to access all areas, including protected areas.
No-go zones do not guarantee the effective restoration of eco-systems
Well managed angling can take place in most protected areas. Member States can allow angling also in strictly protected areas as stated in this Commission document “Criteria and guidance for protected areas designation”: “Strict protection is not an end in itself…The condition that natural processes should be left essentially undisturbed by human pressures and threats means that many strictly protected areas will be non-intervention areas, where only limited and well-controlled activities that either do not interfere with natural processes or enhance them will be allowed.”
Restoring free-flowing rivers must be a priority
Europe hosts the most fragmented rivers in the world and the restoration of free-flowing rivers is a pre-requisite for a successful Nature Restoration Law. Restoring biodiversity will only be possible if more than 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers are restored in appropriate areas. This can be done quickly just by removing obsolete barriers, but also by concentrating on the removal of barriers from rivers where these rivers are essential for whole ecosystems to thrive.
The impact of removing barriers from these rivers has many more positive effects for society and the environment than if the barriers were still present. In addition to all the ecosystem services generated upstream and downstream, these rivers with abundant life would allow rural communities to reinvest their environment for tourism or recreational activities.
Do not hesitate to reach out to your representatives in the European Parliament to let them know about our position! We count on them to follow the path of the EU governments and act for nature.