7 July 2014
On July 14th, European Fisheries Ministers will be meeting at the Council in Brussels. A reform of the EU deep-sea fisheries management regulation, including the ban of deep-sea bottom trawling, was proposed by Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki in July 2012. As trawlers continue to drag their nets, the Fisheries Council drags its feet mainly due to the pressure that countries such as France and Spain have put up to hinder the reform. These industrial fishing nations are now jeopardizing the adoption of the ban in Council.
On that occasion, several renowned street artists will simultaneously produce spectacular pieces of art in several capitals of Europe, calling on Fisheries Ministers and EU governments to take the reform of EU deep-sea fishing seriously and ban deep-sea bottom trawling, which is widely recognized as the most direct threat to the immense reservoir of species and the fragile habitats found in the deep ocean.
Banning deep-sea bottom trawling would be a historical measure that would provide the deep ocean the protection it requires from blind and unnecessary destruction. Deep-sea bottom trawling is a capital-intensive, fuel-greedy, subsidy-dependent fishing method that fails to yield positive economic results while destroying the rich natural capital of European seas.
The ban of deep-sea bottom trawling has been called for by more than 300 international scientists.
Citizens around the EU are calling on their government to protect the deep sea and eliminate destructive fishing. In France alone over 850,000 people signed a petition calling on French president Hollande to ban deep-sea bottom trawling; people across Europe are taking to social media to express their deep concern with events and petitions from Portugal to Poland, Italy to the UK.
On July 14th, the street art community across Europe will stand up against deep-sea bottom trawling and remind Fisheries Ministers that although Council discussions occur in complete opacity, our national representatives have to obey democratic rules and take the will of citizens into consideration.