Today, fishing organisations from 14 EU countries representing over 20 000 fishers and 7 000 vessels, launched in the European Parliament the European Bottom Fishings Alliance (EBFA). Representatives of the alliance presented the reality of these fisheries across Europe and defended the use of active bottom gears as a sustainable activity. The press conference hosted by the first vice-chair of the Committee on Fisheries, MEP Peter van Dalen, drew political attention over the valuable contribution of these fleets in stark contrast with the negative perception expressed by the European Commission towards bottom gears. Decision-makers present fueled concerns over possible implications of phasing out bottom contacting gears in the upcoming EU Action Plan to further protect fisheries resources and marine ecosystems in the context of EU’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy.
As part of the Green Deal, the European Commission has announced the goal to increase the EU’s offshore energy production twenty times to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The European Commission aims to meet this target while at the same time managing the maritime space sustainably. A recent study  commissioned by the EU Executive body puts forward a set of recommendations for positive interactions between fisheries and offshore wind farms. The fishing sector is sceptical about the main findings of this study which downplays the conflicts and echoes the myth of a so-called “happy co-existence” built by the wind energy sector. Likewise, the authors neglect the negative environmental impacts of windfarms and even more so the socio-economic consequences on the fishing communities.