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Parliamentary questions
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9 April 2021
Question for written answer  E-001924/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Annika Bruna (ID)
 Subject: Combating illegal fishing of sea cucumbers and the promotion of farming

In recent decades, sea cucumbers have been subject to intensive and often illegal fishing in the Indian and Pacific oceans. In Asia they are prized for their taste, and are used in cosmetics and traditional medicines. They are sometimes priced at USD 1 000 per kilo.

As illegal fishing has considerably depleted sea cucumber stocks in Asia, they are now being poached in the Mediterranean and the north-east Atlantic. This is alarming because, by feeding on organic waste, sea cucumbers help to clean the oceans.

In Europe, however, new sea cucumber aquaculture projects are emerging that might not only reduce the demand for illegal fishing but also make a polyculture possible when combined with oyster and mussel farms.

In fact, by feeding on oyster and mussel detritus, sea cucumbers also rid them of harmful bacteria and reduce the environmental impact of the farms in question.

With this in mind:

1. Does the Commission intend to encourage our Asian partners to put an end to illegal imports of sea cucumbers?

2. Will the Commission support the establishment of a European aquaculture sector for sea cucumbers?

Original language of question: FR
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