A BRANCH OF the European Union has voted to allow an untested type of fishing that sends electric shocks through the seabed.
The European Parliament fisheries committee decided to allow “electric pulse” fishing to be considered conventional, a move which would allow EU states to licence it like any other type of fishing.
The technique was invented in the Netherlands in 1992, and because of this mostly Dutch ships use the technique.
The fishing method replaces the chains of traditional “beam” trawling with a series of electrical drag wires mounted into the net. The wires send electrical pulses into the seabed which cause the muscles of fish to contract and forces the fish upwards and out of the seabed and into the net.
The Irish Wildlife Trust had urged the committee’s members to resist the measure. In a statement it said:
“The development of industrial electrocution of marine life is a further indicator of chronic overfishing of our waters, which requires ever more destructive modes of capture to target what’s left of fish and invertebrate populations for commercial exploitation.”
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