Marine protection and fishing

Greens/EFA welcome Commission plan to end bottom trawling

This morning, the European Commission presented an action plan to end bottom trawling. In the "Action Plan for the Conservation of Fisheries Resources and Marine Ecosystems", the EU Commission calls for an end to the use of bottom trawling gear in marine protected areas from 2030. The Greens/EFA call on the EU Commission to present a proposal for EU-wide legislation to end bottom trawling in marine protected areas.

Ska Keller MEP, Substitute Member of the Fisheries Committee, comments:

“Most people will be horrified to learn that activities like bottom-trawling are currently allowed in Marine Protected Areas. The EU and Member States need to seriously up their game in terms of protecting marine ecosystems and vulnerable habitats. The European Commission’s Action Plan is the first step towards that, but ultimately without binding legislation, the status of most marine ecosystems will continue to decline as they have done for decades now.”


Bottom trawling is a fishing technique that involves dragging weighted nets across the seabed. The huge nets take large quantities of fish with them, also kill seals, dolphins, seahorses and other animals, destroy marine biodiversity and endanger the seabed as a CO2 reservoir. The action plan is a building block of the EU biodiversity strategy with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the oceans by 2030, ten percent of which should be under strict protection. The action plan is part of the package on marine protection, decarbonisation of the fishing industry and sustainable fisheries management.

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