EFTTA, together with EAA, the European Anglers Alliance, has lobbied strongly that recreational angling should not be banned from "strictly protected areas", which are to cover 10% of the EU marine and terrestrial territories by 2030.
In this regards the European Commission has recently published following important guidance:
"Biodiversity: Commission guidance on new protected areas to help put Europe’s nature on path to recovery by 2030".
This new EC guidance states that recreational angling should not be excluded by default from strictly protected areas, provided that it is assured that the activity is non-intrusive and compatible with the conservation targets of the specific area. This relates, for example, to protective measures carried out by angling clubs and associations, such as habitat restoration, restocking, participation in scientific projects.
In an earlier version of this guidance document, recreational angling had been put on the list of "extractive activities" which, by definition, will not be allowed in strictly protected areas. Thanks to intensive lobby work by EFTTA and EAA the EC has reviewed this initial classification. We will continue working with the responsible decision-makers of the EC to enable a future in which sustainable recreational angling plays an important role for the maintenance and ecological development of strictly protective areas!
A guidance of the EC is not legally binding. It is an interpretation of existing law and policies. The EU Court has the final word should there be a conflict to be sorted out.
The Guidance can be downloaded here: