On 2 July 2014, the French Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) released data on the activities of French deep-sea bottom trawlers that non-government organizations (NGOs) have been demanding since national multi-stakeholder negotiations took place in 2009. With the launch of the reform of the European deep-sea fishing regulation in July 2012, these data became essential to inform the public debate on the implications of the phase-out of deep-sea bottom trawling proposed by the European Commission.
The Italian Presidency has asked EU Member States to confirm their position on the deep-sea fishing regulation by 15 July 2014. NGOs now clearly expect France to support the ban on deep-sea bottom trawling and to make it known publicly. In an open letter, they have appealed to the Minister of Ecology, Mrs. Ségolène Royal, to whom all eyes are now turned.
The GoodPlanet Foundation and Yann Arthus-Bertrand have signed this letter, together with 7 other French NGOs – Bloom, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, Greenpeace, Humanité & Biodiversité, Les Amis de la Terre, Oceana and WWF.
In addition to this, the CSR team of the GoodPlanet Foundation has been working for several months with the teams from the French retail chain Casino on the theme of responsible fisheries, to help identify areas for improvement (supply, staff training, tide, etc.). In this context, GoodPlanet and Bloom accompanied Casino so that it decided to remove all deep species from it stalls starting in the fall of 2014. Casino had already stopped selling certain species such as the emperor, three years before fishing of the emperor was forbidden due to the depletion of stocks. We welcome these decisions made upstream of the regulatory restrictions and, more generally, the commitment of Casino to raise awareness around responsible consumption.
Indeed, bottom trawling is an expensive method, a major consumer of fuel and dependent on subsidies. It doesn’t produce any positive economic results while destroying the rich natural capital of the seas.
In France, Bloom’s petition to the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, against deep-sea bottom trawling has garnered close to a historic 860,000 signatories thus far. Help Bloom reach 1 billion signatures here!
Yesterday, seven street artists across Europe, including London and Brussels, called on EU governments to ban deep-sea bottom trawling. If you missed it, watch the spectacular artistic performances on Bloom’s site.