Brussels, October 21, 2022 - The European Bottom Fishing Alliance (EBFA), which represents more than 20,000 fishermen and 7,000 European vessels, met with the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, to alert and present in person the consequences of the implementing act establishing area closures in 87 areas across the Atlantic. EBFA also raised the issues of the principle of proportionality, the low legal quality of the proposed regulation as well as the lack of real consultation with stakeholders and lack of best scientific data to support parts of the new regulation.
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.