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Parliamentary questions
10 September 2007
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

According to Article 31 of Council Regulation (EC) No 850/98 of 30 March 1998 for the conservation of fishery resources through technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms(1), fishing with electricity, along with explosives and stupefying substances, is prohibited. The main reason for this is that these methods can be extremely effective, (i.e. fish stocks can be rapidly depleted) and would therefore go against the aim of a long-term sustainable income for fishing communities. There can furthermore be adverse impacts on the ecosystem and benthic communities, as some species which are located close to the trawl but which are not caught can be strongly affected by the electric current.

Regulation (EC) No 850/98 does not, however, apply to scientific research and consequently no derogation is required to use electrical current for scientific purposes.

The Commission is aware that under specific conditions and for certain fisheries the use of electricity could present some advantages in comparison with other gears such as bottom trawls. For that reason, a derogation on the use of a pulse trawl instead of the classical heavy beam trawls was granted in 2006. This derogation was introduced after receiving advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). Because of possible adverse impacts, the derogation concerns only the the south of the North Sea. The derogation is also limited in durationto only one year as also in fishing effort since it applies to a limited number of vessels.

With the exception of scientific research, the intention of the Commission is to maintain the general ban on electro-fishing. However, due to possible positive effects on the environment, the Commission is open to study specific derogations for electrical fishing methods where these replace more harmful gears. Derogations will be proposed only after receiving scientific advice on the impact of such derogations and will be used only for specific fisheries in certain well defined areas.

(1)OJ L 125, 27.4.1998.

OJ C 191, 29/07/2008
Posledná úprava: 15. októbra 2007Právne oznámenie