The CoR welcomes the outcome of the vote on the "Technical Measures" dossier, where in a surprise result on Tuesday 16 January 2018 the Parliament voted to ban electric fishing.
The strong recommendation against electric pulse fishing was adopted by the European Committee of the Regions as a part of a report on "Technical Measures in fisheries
" addressed to the legislator. The opinion clarifies the point of view of EU's local and regional authorities on the matter, appealing to subject renewals of licenses for electric pulse fishing to scientific evaluation before renewing or removing their prohibited status.
CoR rapporteur Mrs Emily Westley (UK/PES), a local counsellor from Hastings, UK, stated that the outcome is "an important win for the environment and also for small scale fishermen that have used for generations traditional fishing methods". Hastings is home of the largest European beach-launched fishing fleet, and the developments in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) are watched closely by local fishermen.
In the light of Brexit and increasing insecurity among small-scale fishermen about their future, the stage victory represents an important sign for many of them. "Working collectively is the only way to make the right decisions for local communities. Brexit is putting that relationship in serious danger of extinction and I call on all the decision makers to really consider the local and regional impacts of Brexit. How will the ordinary people’s voices be heard?"
Mrs Westley added.
The draft law was a subject of heated debates among policy-makers, non-governmental organisations and fishermen, noted further Mrs. Westley, who as a part of her activities at the European Committee of the Regions undertook significant efforts to lobby fellow S&D and UK members of the European Parliament to pass legislation that is more friendly to small scale fishermen and local communities. The regulation, which now will enter into trilogue between Commission, Council and Parliament, will continue to be a cornerstone of the debate on CFP during the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union.