In the discussion about the impending ban on fishing with bottom trawls in marine protection areas, the environmental protection organization WWF is calling for more sustainability in German fishing. "We must succeed in restricting fishing with bottom-contact nets effectively and first and foremost in the protected areas," said Transformation Manager at WWF Germany, Heike Vesper, in a statement on Monday.
In talks between shrimp fishermen, politicians and nature conservationists, the focus must now be on ensuring marine protection and creating future prospects for fishing.
"The shrimp fishery has benefited from legal exceptions for a long time and has done far too little in the past. This must change now," said Vesper. Intact marine ecosystems make economically viable fisheries possible. According to the WWF, this is the aim of the EU Commission's action plan. Fishing with bottom trawls is criticized, among other things, because the seabed can be significantly damaged by the fishing gear.
According to the plan, fishing with bottom trawls - i.e. nets that touch the sea floor - should be prohibited in protected areas by 2030 at the latest. If that were to happen, from the point of view of the fishermen, there would hardly be any fishing areas off the coast where traditional crab fishing could be carried out. Companies on the German North Sea coast therefore see their existence in danger.
Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) is critical of a blanket ban in protected areas in view of the possible consequences for fishing. North German state governments also opposed the plan. The topic was also on the agenda at a meeting of EU agriculture ministers in Brussels on Monday. From Wednesday, the conference of agriculture ministers in Büsum should also be about it.