Intermarché, Agromousquetairs Call For 'Electric Pulse' Fishing Moratorium
Intermarché and Agromousquetaires have called for a moratorium on electric pulse fishing, following a decision by a EU committee to allow the previously banned practice.
On 21 November, the European Parliament’s fisheries committee voted in favour of considering the practice 'conventional', which would allow member states to licence it in the same manner as any other method of fishing, according to reports.
The two companies, which are part of the French-based international retail group Les Mousquetaires, have voiced their concern at the committee’s decision.
The practice was banned in Europe in 1998 but had been reintroduced on a trial basis in the southern North Sea since 2007.
Electric pulse fishing, also known as electrofishing, replaces the chains of traditional beam trawling with electrical drag wires mounted into the fishing net. The wires send electrical pulses into the seabed, which cause the muscles of fish to contract and forces them up from the seabed into the net.
Various scientific studies highlight the negative impacts of this technique on the wildlife and marine ecosystems, according to Agromousquetaires. Many preservationist observers and artisanal fishermen of the North Sea also criticise the practice, it said.
Agromousquetairs also advocates a Europe-wide system for monitoring fishing techniques. The company said its fishing fleet doesn’t practice electrofishing.
The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) said ahead of the committee’s decision that the development of industrial electrocution of marine life is a further indicator of chronic overfishing of our waters, which requires ever more destructive modes of capture to target what’s left of fish and invertebrate populations for commercial exploitation.
Intermarché has previously worked towards better sustainability. In August, the retailer's Portuguese division announced it would cease selling cage reared eggs by 2025.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.