A fishing trawler at a port in Galicia. (Photo: Lia Russo)
Concern over possible ban on bottom trawling
Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
Authorities of Europêche, of the European Association of Fish Producers Organisations (EAPO) and of the General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the European Union (Copa-Cogeca) expressed concern over the intention of the European Commission (EC) to gradually prohibit, in two years, bottom trawling in deep waters of the northeast Atlantic.
"Without affecting the thorough assessment of the text, which, if necessary, we will in due course issue, we must express our great concern and make a complaint about the way of acting and the lack of objectivity in this matter, which appears to be under strong external pressure," pointed out in a statement the president of Europêche, Javier Garat; of EAPO, Sean O'Donoghue; and of the Fishing section of Copa-Cogeca, Giampaolo Buonfiglio.
The three authorities find the proposal, which is to be presented regardless the scientific recommendations made by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) on the status of stocks of deep-sea species, is really strange.
"It's worrying to see that even though the main species are caught by Community vessels, particularly in the waters west of Scotland and the Celtic Sea, in accordance with the maximum sustainable yield aim, according to ICES, Commissioner Maria Damanaki would intend to prohibit the activity," added Garat, O'Donoghue and Buonfiglio.
The three leaders also expressed their concern about the fact that the EC had not assessed the socioeconomic impact the proposal would have.
For them, if the initiative was adopted, there would also be loss of jobs.
"There is no good or bad fishing method but it is necessary to consider if a fishery is managed and regulated well or badly, otherwise, there is the risk of setting a dangerous precedent that would be used by invoking as the only approach that of the caution," they added.
"It is absolutely important to be objectively based on scientific data underlying the stock assessments, which are at present posing positive signals on the situation of many EU fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic," they stressed.
Europêche represents fishing vessel owners in Europe and currently brings together 17 national organizations of fishing enterprises from 11 Member States.
EAPO represents 34 producer organizations in 10 EU Member States, about 10,000 ships, 3.5 million tonnes of landed specimens and a first sale value of EUR 3,000 million.
Whereas Copa-Cogeca is composed of Community agricultural cooperative associations.
By Analia Murias