Ocean protection plans discriminatory, disproportionate, unscientific

26.04.2023 16:10

Ocean protection plans discriminatory, disproportionate, unscientific


The EPP Group denounces the European Commission’s Action Plan for the Protection of the Marine Environments as discriminatory, disproportionate, unjustified and not based on the best available science. The plan wants to bluntly ban all bottom fishing gears by 2030.

During a debate with EU Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, EPP Group MEPs pointed out that the plan is in full contradiction of the need to ensure European food security and food sufficiency.

“The European Commission has presented its Action Plan at the worst time and in the worst possible way. During the war context, when food security is at risk, it is not sensible to demonise any fishing gear. Bottom trawling is a highly regulated fishing gear and the only viable way to catch many of the species that Europeans eat such as prawns, hake and some cephalopods”, said Francisco Millán Mon MEP.

MEPs also criticised the contradictory statements on whether the Action Plan is binding or not, and called for clarity on what the obligations are.

"The publication of the Action Plan by the European Commission has caused great uncertainty among fishermen. Today I asked Commissioner Sinkevičius to confirm that there will be no spontaneous actions and unilateral bans to the detriment of fishermen", said Niclas Herbst MEP, who negotiated the Action Plan in the European Parliament.

“The EPP Group wants to protect the environment, but the Commission must also protect fishermen, their livelihood and food security in Europe”, affirmed Herbst.

The EPP Group calls for a full impact assessment of the measures proposed. “The socio-economic effects on the EU fleet and coastal communities, but also to the consumer, would be devastating. The Commission’s plan would result in wasted seafood and, at the same time, increasing imports from third countries”, concluded Millán Mon.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States

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