EU Biodiversity Plan Aims to Ban Bottom Trawls in Protected Areas –

EU Biodiversity Plan Goals to Ban Backside Trawls in Protected Areas –

EU international locations must scale back the dangerous impacts of fishing on delicate species and their habitats, in line with a draft EU Biodiversity Plan obtainable to EURACTIV.

The European Fee is predicted to problem an “EU Motion Plan for the Safety and Restoration of Marine Ecosystems for Sustainable and Resilient Fisheries” within the first quarter of 2023.

One in all its key measures is to cease the harmful results of backside trawling, a fishing technique that includes dragging heavy nets throughout the seabed in an try to catch fish.

Beneath the draft plan, demersal fishing could be banned in marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2030, however would nonetheless be allowed outdoors these areas.

Deep-sea trawls at depths better than 800 meters had been already banned throughout the EU in 2016, although with exceptions.

The motion plan was first talked about in a Fee doc Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 as a approach of defending nature and reversing the lack of biodiversity. It was initially anticipated in 2021, however was postponed a number of occasions after a public consultation revealed sturdy opposition from the fishing business.

Business group Europêche stated it was “appalled” by the Fee’s declare that bottom-contacting fishing gear is probably the most damaging exercise for the seabed.

“Towing a fishing web via the water column or throughout the seabed will be unsustainable if executed irresponsibly. However with correct administration and cautious positioning, trawling will be very sustainable.” said the association in response to a public consultation.

Nonetheless, the draft plan warns that Europe’s fisheries sector faces “existential threats” posed by local weather change and biodiversity loss. He emphasizes that solely a wholesome marine atmosphere will assure a affluent future for fishing communities.

“The safety and restoration of Europe’s seas and oceans has change into extra vital than ever to counter the damaging results of the triple planetary disaster of local weather change, biodiversity loss and air pollution on our economies and societies, together with fishing industries and coastal communities,” the doc says. .

To this point, solely 12% of EU seas are designated as protected areas and fewer than 1% are strictly protected, the doc factors out. This is well below the 30% that the EU aims to achieve as a part of its 2030 Biodiversity Technique.

The intention can be to deal with the shortcomings recognized within the European Courtroom of Auditors for 2020 special message on the marine atmosphere.

Many marine species and habitats are in poor situation, the report highlighted, concluding that Europe’s seas can’t be thought of “wholesome or clear” and {that a} excessive proportion of marine species and habitats are rated as exhibiting “unfavorable conservation standing”, with fishing taking a whole lot of effort. main strain on marine ecosystems.

To deal with these points, the Motion Plan intends to behave on 4 fronts:

  • Enhancing fishing selectivity and decreasing dangerous impacts on delicate species and their habitats;
  • Minimizing the influence of fishing – together with demersal trawling – on delicate habitats such because the seabed;
  • Making certain a good and simply transition within the fishing business; and
  • Strengthening analysis and innovation to include the idea of “pure capital” into financial selections.

Biodiversity in Europe: The EU aims to protect 30% of land and sea

With the UN Spring Summit on Biodiversity approaching, 2021 has been hailed as a Tremendous Yr for Biodiversity. As a part of its contribution, the European Fee is getting ready laws to introduce authorized safety for 30% of land and seas in Europe.

NGOs say the motion plan is simply too weak

Conservation teams have welcomed the Fee’s plan, however say the proposal falls brief on a number of factors.

“The motion plan makes it clear that we have to transfer away from harmful fishing like backside trawling, which is the primary time the Fee has been so clear on the difficulty and we welcome it,” stated Monica Verbeek, govt director of the marine conservancy. The ocean in peril.

“The motion plan additionally acknowledges the necessity for a simply transition to low-impact fisheries, which we imagine is the one approach out of the present failed system,” she advised EURACTIV in written feedback.

Nevertheless, to attain this, the plan depends primarily on the implementation of present environmental laws and the Frequent Fisheries Coverage (CFP), which have thus far “failed to offer efficient safety for marine species and ecosystems,” Verbeek argued.

Moreover, a proposal to ban demersal trawling in marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2030 is a full seven years away, NGOs level out, warning that it’s counterintuitive to proceed destroying till then in MPAs, that are areas of particular the necessity for cover. .

“The Fee itself appears to acknowledge that the proposed measures won’t be sufficient, as they plan to judge progress in 2024 and are already indicating a follow-up legislative proposal that the following commissioner shall be comfy coping with,” Verbeek advised EURACTIV, referring to the truth that the Commissioner for atmosphere, oceans and fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius will finish his mandate in 2024.

> Learn the draft motion plan under or obtain it here.

Action Plan_December 2022 (1)

[Edited by Frédéric Simon]


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