Brexit bans EU boats from zapping fish using controversial ‘pulse trawling’ method in UK waters
- Fishermen from the EU have been banned from ‘pulse trawling’ in British waters
- The controversial technique uses electrical signals to drive flat fish into nets
- Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith said it was ‘fantastic news’ for UK waters
Fishermen from the EU have been banned from ‘pulse trawling’ in British waters following the end of the Brexit transition period on New Year’s Eve.
The controversial technique uses electrical signals to drive flat fish, such as sole, from the seabed into nets.
There are concerns it harms the marine environment and larger species such as cod, haddock and whiting by causing their spines to break.
Using an electric current to fish was banned by the EU in 1998 but since 2006 exemptions were allowed for some pulse trawling.
Fishermen from the EU have been banned from ‘pulse trawling’ in British waters. Pictured: Fishing boats at the fishing port at Bridlington Harbour in Yorkshire
These included for around 80 Dutch vessels which had been using the method in the southern North Sea.
Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith said: ‘It is fantastic news we have been able to end pulse trawling in UK waters by EU and English vessels. This is just one of the good things we can do now.’
A department spokesman added: ‘This will help to safeguard our marine environment.’
Watch Keepers at the fishing port at Bridlington Harbour in Yorkshire as the UK leaves the single market and customs union and the Brexit transition period comes to an end
Olivier Lepretre, head of the regional fisheries group in northern France, praised the move, saying: ‘At least Boris had the courage to do it.’
A Defra spokesman said: ‘As the transition period has now ended, pulse trawling by EU and English-registered vessels will no longer be permitted in UK waters.
‘This will help to safeguard our marine environment and keep our seas sustainable for future generations.’
The EU is set to ban much of its pulse fishing in July this year, but a handful of vessels will be allowed to continue under an exemption.