Saturday, May 17, 2014


Driftnet fishing – with vertical nets – is an irresponsible practice. It is a non-selective fishery which leads to non-targeted catches. It threatens marine wildlife and species which are protected under EU legislation. Tolerating this practice comes in contradiction with our newly reformed Common Fisheries Policy.

One of the core principles of our Reform is to reduce the pressure of fishing activities on marine ecosystems. This is a key value that we promote also in our international agreements. It is important that we remain coherent and ensure such prohibited and destructive practices are not taking place in the EU anymore. We need to lead by example on sustainability.

This is why, after extensive consultations, I proposed this week a ban on the use of driftnets in European waters. 

  • Why a total ban? Because up to now, there were numerous exemptions in the existing prohibition, generating loopholes. Only a total ban will leave no room for ambivalent interpretation.

This was the last missing piece of the puzzle of our reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. I hope that we can complete this puzzle by the end of this year and have no more driftnets in our waters by January 2015.


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