Bijdrage visserijcommissie over destructieve visserijtechnieken in de Europese Biodiversiteitsstrategie
Anja Hazekamp (pvdD): Well, thank you Chair and welcome Commissioner. Thank you for your ambitious presentation. Confucius said the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. These words of Confucius are inspiring in many ways and not only applicable to terrestrial nature but also to our marine environment.
2020 should have been the year that EU Member States have stopped overfishing. Yet we see that the European oversized fishing fleet keeps endangering fish populations and worldwide, by overfishing, by using unsustainable fishing gear and by disrupting protected sea areas with destructive fishing practices.
Apparently, the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations cannot convince the EU fleet to fish in a more sustainable way. I hope that with this new biodiversity strategy, we can make a difference and I look forward to working with you on this topic.
And to begin with: the ending of harmful fishery subsidies. We have to stop using public money to destroy our oceans. I am pleased that the Commissioner wants to establish protected areas for at least 30 percent of the European seas. But its protection goals are undermined when at the same time destructive fishing methods, like bottom trawling, are still being allowed in these protected areas. It’s not just all about the name, Commissioner. We need concrete goals and actions and not just talk and find words.
Commissioner, do you agree that in a designated marine protected area, bottom trawling and other fishing activities should not be allowed?