The end of the electric pulse fishing method, with one month to go and is living its last days.

This fishing method will soon be completely banned from European Union fishing vessels in all waters they frequent, including outside the EU.

Electrical fishing method is extremely controversial and has been criticised by some environmental groups as the Bloom NGO. The NGO has been at the forefront of the campaign against this practice.

Why is it so controversial?

The technique involves sending electrical impulses from a boat into the sediment to capture hidden fish. (such as sole, plaice or Common dab).

This method avoids ploughing the seabed. However, it is seen to be extremely destructive to marine fauna, particularly by destroying eggs and larvae.

Since 2007, each EU Member State can convert a maximum of 5% of its beam trawl fleet to electric fishing in the southern North Sea.

On July 25th, 2019, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted new rules on the conservation of fisheries resources and the protection of marine ecosystems.

Lots of destructive fishing gears or methods that use explosives, poison, soporific substances, electric current, percussion instruments, dredging devices and grabs to harvest red or other types of coral have been banned.

However, the use of electric pulse trawls will remain possible for a transitional period until 30 June 2021.

On August 14th, 2019, France had banned the use of electric trawls in the waters of the North Sea and other waters under French sovereignty. Anticipating thereby of the EU Council’s decision.

On October 4th, 2019, the Netherlands brought an action before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to annul the provisions of this regulation concerning fishing vessels using pulsed electric current.

On April 15th, this year, the CJEU rejected the Dutch appeal against the ban on fishing with vessels using pulsed electric current.

N°59/2021 : 15 April 2021 Judgment of the Court of Justice in case C-733/19 Netherlands v. Council and Parliament

The decision was a big victory for the environment and marine biodiversity

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