Dutch trial at EU Court against ban on pulse fishing

Photo: Jakob Owens via Unsplash

The Netherlands goes to the European Court of Justice to challenge the pulse fishing ban. According to Minister Schouten (LNV), all kinds of mistakes were made by the EU when imposing the ban. Legal proceedings at the court will take years and pulse fishermen will have to abide by the ban until that time.

Pulse gear gives small electrical shocks that startle the fish from the bottom. The European Parliament introduced a pulse fishing ban this year. Small-scale fishermen and nature organizations conducted a successful campaign in which they stated that electric pulse fishing eradicates all marine life.

The Netherlands now says that with this prohibition EU rules have been violated. According to The Hague, a new rule may only be introduced after the best available scientific advice has been consulted. Scientists advised that pulse fishing is better for marine life than older fishing methods. The opponents' criticism was that dozens of pulse permits had been issued by the Netherlands for years under the guise of & #8216; scientific research, but that hardly any research was done.

The Dutch MEP Peter van Dalen (ChristenUnie) fully agrees with the Dutch legal action. & #8220; It is quite right that the Dutch government should go to the EU Court regarding the decision on pulse fishing. Scientists have shown that pulse fishing is a more environmentally friendly, selective (= catching the fish you want to catch: preventing unwanted by-catches) and therefore a highly effective fishing technique & #8221 ;.

The question is whether fishermen will benefit from the lawsuit. Half of all pulse fishermen have already had to hand in z & #8217; n pulse gear, the other half must do so within a few years. Then the proceedings at the court are probably not yet completed.