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Matt Carthy MEP calls on government to ban Electric Pulse Fishing

5 March, 2019 - by Matt Carthy MEP


Matt Carthy MEP calls on government to ban Electric Pulse Fishing

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on Minister Michael Creed to immediately begin the process to prohibit electric pulse fishing in Ireland’s coastal waters.

Speaking following the conclusion of negotiations on the controversial practice last week the Midlands North West MEP said:

“Electric pulse fishing was first banned in EU waters in 1998, but a system of derogations have allowed the practice to continue against scientific and environmental advice since 2006.

“This system, which involves dragging an electrified net across the sea floor, or sending electric signals to stun and startle fish and other sea life before scooping them up in nets, is extremely dangerous.  Fish, juveniles, eggs and marine wildlife all suffer the consequences of this indiscriminate practice.  Traditional fishing practitioners are disadvantaged.

“In January 2018 the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of an amendment tabled by Sinn Féin MEPs to ban electric pulse fishing.  However the deal reached on a final text last week would see a ban come into place only from 2021 onwards. This was due to intense lobbying efforts of primarily French and Dutch fishers, who also fish in Irish waters.

“My Sinn Féin colleague Liadh Ní Riada has been championing this cause through the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee for the last two years, and we believe it is vital that Ireland now shows leadership.

“I have written to Minister Creed asking him to take the necessary steps to introduce an immediate ban on electric pulse trawling in Irish coastal waters, as he is permitted to do under the agreed EU legislation.

“There is no reason why Ireland should not immediately initiate a ban.  Fishing communities and the wider public are firmly in favour of increased protections for the marine environment and measures that can ensure a sustainable fishing sector into the future.  A ban on Electric Pulse Fishing would be an important first step”.

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