Pulse trawling trials are out of hand

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 30 November 2015

Pulse trawling trials hardly scientific says MCS: That’s why we’re supporting a ban now - and you can help! 85 Dutch supertrawlers are currently taking part in so-called scientific trials on electric é’pulse trawl’ fishing.

Pulse trawling trials hardly scientific says MCS: That’s why we’re supporting a ban now - and you can help! 85 Dutch supertrawlers are currently taking part in so-called scientific trials on electric é’pulse trawl’ fishing. Pulse fishing uses electricity to flush flatfish or shrimp out of the sediment they call home, and the electric shock makes them convulse and flip upwards, into the net. Recently the UK government has licensed a further 12 ships to use this fishing system. We are concerned that these so-called scientific trials on electric é’pulse trawl’ fishing have got out of hand. It’s currently being run under what’s referred to as a é’special derogation’ from the European commission for a é’trial’. But, can it really be a ‘trial’ when so many vessels are undertaking this type of fishing? Can it really be a ‘trial’ when the fishing is taking place over 345,874 km square of the North Sea? And should the ‘trial’ be carried out in so-called é’Special Areas of Conservation’? The long-term effects of this type of fishing on seabed habitats are unknown, but it’s very, very efficient at catching flatfish. Evidence seen by MCS also suggests that the fuel efficiency for boats towing lighter fishing gear has resulted in a considerable increase in the amount of effort (area and time fished) exploited over the southern North Sea. Our traditional net and trawl fishermen in the southeast of England are seeing dead fish in the water, and their catches are being reduced. It’s killing fish and leaving them to rot in the sea. And this is happening in our é’Special Areas of Conservation’. We have made our views known that we feel the extent of this ‘trial’ is way, way too big - and it should not be taking place in designated protected areas. What can you do? You may like to sign this petition to protect our ecosystems, fish and our small scale fishermen through a ban on this method of fishing. (Pic: Ingerwilms (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons)

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