Sunday, 18 May 2014

Driftnet fishing to be banned in Europe

Using driftnets for fishing in UK waters could be banned as of 1 January 2015 if the European Commission has its way.

Although rules are already in place to forbid using driftnets to catch certain migratory fishes, the EC says the practice continues to be a cause of concern due to the incidental catching of marine mammals, sea turtles and sea birds which are mostly protected under EU legislation.

A statement from the EC read "To fight circumvention, the Commission proposal includes a full ban of driftnets fishing in the EU as well as the prohibition of keeping driftnets on board of fishing vessels.

"Furthermore, to avoid ambiguity, the proposal refines the current definition of a driftnet. Banning driftnets responds to the new Common Fisheries Policy's goal to minimise the impact of fishing activities on the marine ecosystems and to reduce unwanted catches as much as possible."

Amanda Nickson, director of global tuna conservation for The Pew Charitable Trusts, praised the Commission's action.

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