The EBFA is to consider legal remedies against the European Commission's implementing an act which closes 87 areas to bottom-fishing

The EBFA is to consider legal remedies against the European Commission’s implementing an act which closes 87 areas to bottom-fishing

EBFA to consider legal remedies against the European Commission’s implementing act closing 87 areas to fishing

– This regulation would have devastating consequences for the future of bottom fishing in the Atlantic and therefore for more than 10,000 fishermen;

– The obvious scientific shortcomings and the lack of a socio-economic impact assessment supporting this executive act are particularly shocking.

The European Bottom Fishing Alliance announces that it has decided at an emergency meeting to explore all legal options in the face of the decision announced by the European Commission (EC) to close 87 fishing areas under the Deep Sea Access Regulation.

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The sector, which does not exclude calling for work stoppages and rallies in front of various European and national authorities, will act jointly and united through the European Bottom Fishing Alliance (EBFA).

Lack of socio-economic impact analysis, scientific gaps…

The sector denounces the absence of a socio-economic impact assessment underpinning this decision. Indeed, it is particularly shocking that the European Commission refuses to study the economic and social consequences of such a decision, which endangers the future of bottom fishing in the Atlantic and therefore threatens more than 10,000 fishermen.

Moreover, the European Commission bases its executive act on a scientific report with obvious shortcomings such as a wrong scale for studying the footprint of a fishing vessel, recognised by the very authors of the study, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). This resulted in massive area closures (16,400 km2) disproportionate to the aim of environmental protection. EBFA therefore urges European decision-makers to organise a scientific debate on this issue, involving all stakeholders.

Finally, the Commission, in its desire to act quickly, has failed to consult the competent European bodies (in this case the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries – STECF), contrary to European regulations.

Ivan Lopez, President of EBFA said:

“We fully agree with the European Commission’s objective to preserve vulnerable marine ecosystems, but we cannot be satisfied with a botched legislation. We are particularly shocked that the European Commission did not want to conduct a socio[1]economic impact assessment to evaluate the consequences of this measure for many fishing families and more broadly for the local communities that depend on this activity.”

He continued, “We are surprised that the Commission, through the absence of consultation of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), did not respect the most basic European regulations. Therefore, we will study in detail the text published by the Commission and examine all legal actions available to us under European law and treaties.”

Source: Press Release

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