The European Bottom Fishing Alliance are set to discuss the ban by Norway on EU-registered beam trawlers in their waters to 01 June 2022

The European Bottom Fishing Alliance are set to discuss the ban by Norway on EU-registered beam trawlers in their waters

The European Bottom Fishing Alliance will met to discuss the decision by Norway to ban on beam trawling by EU-registered fishing vessels in its waters.

The Norwegian government instigated the ban on 01 January last, with enforcement set to come into effect as of 01 March 2022, but following a consultation with the EU, Norway has agreed to push back the start date until 01 June 2022.

The Dutch and Belgian governments had urged the Commission to ask the Norwegians to reconsider the ban and Nederlandse Vissersbond and Delta Zuid are trying to find a solution to this issue through other means.

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Nederlandse Visserbond says that for the dozens of Dutch and Belgian fishermen who fish in the Norwegian zone every year, this decision comes as a complete and unpleasant surprise.

They say, “Incidentally, this also applies to the member states of the Netherlands, Belgium and the European Commission. There is no mention of this in the Fisheries Agreement that the EU and Norway concluded before 2022. For the affected fishermen this means a loss of valuable fishing ground and income.”

The Norwegians believe that the beam trawl can damage the seabed and that this method has been banned for Norwegian fishermen for 15 years. Based on that reason the Norwegians have decided to extend the ban on beam trawls to non-Norwegian fishermen.

In a joint letter last week, the Netherlands and Belgium, wrote to EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, calling on the European Commission to enter discussions with the Norwegians to reconsider their decision on the beam trawling ban.

Nederlandse Visserbond says, “Both Member States are not only appalled at the unilateral exclusion of EU fishermen by the Norwegians, but it is also at odds with international agreements to which the Norwegians have also committed.”

Nederlandse Visserbond says that the Norwegians are playing a “Vile” game:

“It is rather strange that Norway has signed an EU-Norway 2022 Fisheries Agreement with the EU on December 10, 2021, close in which there is no word about the beam trawl ban. Less than two weeks later, on December 23, 2021, the Norwegian parliament will pass a new law that will ban beam trawls from January 1, 2022. Enforcement will be taken up from 1 March 2022. On February 3, 2022, the European Commission will be notified for the first time by the Norwegians. The Dutch government is told by Belgian colleagues, not from the European Commission, that the Norwegians have already banned the beam trawl. The Norwegians will send the amended legislation to the European Commission on 7 February 2022. The beam trawlers become the victims of a political game that the Norwegians play with the EU Member States in a vicious way. After all, they do not keep to agreements that have been signed after long negotiations with the EU,” claims the Dutch fishermen’s organisation.

The European Bottom Fishing Alliance (EBFA), a partnership of fisheries organisations that represents the interests of EU bottom fishing is set to discuss the ban indepth at a meeting being held today.

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European Bottom Fishing Alliance to discuss Norway ban on EU beam trawlers

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