Partial step on driftnets
BRUSSELS — Moves against driftnet fishing adopted by the European Community Fisheries Council on October 28 might have been a step in the right direction, if the largest driftnet fleet in the north-east Atlantic had not been allowed to continue, says Greenpeace.
"While the decision to ban certain driftnets longer than 2.5 km in the EC was a clear recognition of the ecological damage caused by large-scale driftnet fishing, there will not be an end to this destructive fishing practice for at least two years", said spokesperson Helene Bours.
Exceptions under the new ruling allow EC vessels to continue using driftnets in the north-east Atlantic up to 5 km long, set 2 m below the surface. This second requirement is designed to eliminate the catch of marine mammals. French research has shown this measure to be completely ineffective.
"These exceptions will mean further investment in a fishery which has been recognised as destructive, rather than investing in ecologically sound fishing practices", said Bours.