The European Parliament’s major parties have turned on a Commission proposal that would have banned mobile bottom fisheries in marine protected areas (MPAs), a move that disappointed conservation NGOs.
Brussels originally wanted to restore marine ecosystems by addressing destructive fishing gear used to trawl for fish. Bottom trawling is a fishing method that involves dragging heavy nets along the seafloor to catch fish and other marine organisms, which scientists insist has a range of negative impacts on biodiversity and climate that make it incompatible with MPAs.
The WWF said that instead of pushing for sustainable fisheries and the recovery of EU seas, MEPs had watered down plans for a transition to low-impact and fair fisheries.
"European marine ecosystems are on the brink, too degraded to effectively fulfil their role as a source of oxygen, food, livelihoods and wellbeing. The next five years will be decisive in reversing this decline. Regrettably, the reports adopted today are insufficient to meet this challenge,” said Dr Antonia Leroy, WWF head of ocean policy.
Read the full article: maltatoday, 18 January 2024, Matthew Vella