A controversial fishing technique has been banned by the European Parliament today.
Pulse fishing has been described as “the marine equivalent of fracking” sending electric shocks through the oceans to make fish living on the seabed leap up to be easily caught in a trawl net.
The Marine Conservation Society say fish seem to be most affected with their nervous system and backbones being damaged in many cases. However there is also concern on the effect repeated electric shocks have on the other animal communities of the sea: those that live in the open water, on the seabed or under it.
Pulse fishing had been allowed across Europe since 2016 for “scientific purposes” although the fishing fleets using the technique were selling their catches commercially. But the vote in the European Parliament is to completely outlaw pulse fishing meaning no-one will now be able to use the technique in the North Sea.
Speaking in the Parliament Chamber Labour MEP Alex Mayer said:
“For ten years, this technique has been allowed to continue, under the guise of a scientific trial with up to 70 boats operating in North Sea. That's not a scientific experiment it is a commercial fishing operation. We deserve better for the waters off the East Anglian coast.
“I am proud to have voted for a complete ban today.”