At second reading of the French bill on biodiversity, the French National Assembly rejected Thursday the deepsea trawling ban denounced by the fisheries sector. MPs voted at second reading of the text in committee and on the initiative of the UDI Bertrand Pancher an amendment to ban deepsea trawling, and referring to a decree the task of defining it.
A huge misunderstanding rejected by the Government on the threat of a total ban trawling
But MPs vote sparked a call, including the regional Brittany Fisheries Committee, to symbolic blockades of fishing ports to protest against “the threat of a total ban on trawling, or the disappearance of an entire economic sector”.
Saying she “heard the emotion” prompted the State Secretary for Biodiversity, environmentalist Barbara Pompili, wanted to challenge “a huge misunderstanding” about a possible willingness “to ban trawling.”
“The government, ever, ever, would not embarrass its fishermen.”In its initial version, the article says that the conditions of the application will be defined “by decree of the State Council.” At first sight, this seems to blur. But in reality, there is consensus to prohibit fishing in deep water until 800 meters, which excludes the majority of trawling practices.
This deepsea fishing practice is also “not generating direct employment”: between “44 and 112 sailors” full time, advocated the centrist MP Bertrand Pancher. Intermarché, lead actor with Scapêche, is committed to “back its nets 900 m” in 2014, and other supermarket chains have begun to respond to a “strong citizen mobilization,” said the one.
A symbolic but crucial step for the future of the oceans
If it is a symbolic measure, it is very important because if deep sea fishing is marginal today, who can predict what tomorrow will bring? This arrangement allows the depths sanctuaries, which are a rich but fragile environment.
Fishing in deep sea affects species such as rock grenadier or blue ling, classified as endangered or vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. According to French Ifremer, “the major disadvantage of bottom trawling is the lack of selectivity. For this machine, consisting of a towed net by a ship, simultaneously capture several species of different dimensions and morphology. Although it does not penetrate the sediment, it deteriorates the habitats and organisms placed on the bottom.”
The deep sea trawling is recognized by many scientists as a destructive fishing technique which generates some 20 to 40% bycatch, unwanted. But many deep-sea fish take years to mature to reproduce and are particularly threatened, like the deep-sea sharks.
In 2015, of Glasgow University researchers have shown that over fishing is deeper, it causes damage, without significant economic gains. They therefore advocate a ban on trawling beyond 600 meters. In 2013, more than 300 researchers signed a petition to this effect, backed by the Bloom Association.