MEP hails moves to ban '˜grotesque' fishing method

Moves to ban 'grotesque' electro-pulse fishing in European waters has been hailed as 'right for the ecology, environment and for UK fishing communities.'

UKIP fisheries spokesman Mike Hookem

Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire MEP Mike Hookem said the European Parliament vote at lunchtime today was a “considerable victory”.

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The MEP campaigned to ban the technique, which British fishermen claim had “decimated” areas of North Sea fishing grounds.

The method practised by mainly Dutch vessels in British waters produces an electrical field on the seabed, forcing bottom-dwelling fish and seafood like sole and shrimps into the water column, and allows them to be easily caught.

But there are fears it may cause long-term damage to non-target species and so efficient it will cause whole areas to be “fished out.” Mr Hookem said it had threatened the “very existence” of many small-scale fishermen working off the South-East coast. Despite a “great deal of resistance from richly-resourced Dutch groups with a vested interest”, he said, “common sense has overcome sheer greed.”