Rough Translation: Source: Ouest France- Friday 14 October 2005

42 discontented liners.

Fisheries: A petition against pelagic trawling on the spawning grounds

The fishing sector is disturbed at the present time. A petition signed by 42 liners and rope makers from the ports of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue and Barfleur, in the Val-de Saire, will be sent to the authorities for measures to be taken to prohibit fishing with pelagic trawls on the bass spawning grounds during the reproductive period.

“Liners don’t fish for bass during the period of reproduction from January to April. Nevertheless, a serious resource management problem exists.”

“It’s during the reproductive period that the massacres resulting from the use of pelagic trawls take place.”

These are the opening sentences of the petition which will be sent to the national, regional and local fisheries committees, to the bureau of marine affairs and to the headquarters of the EU in Brussels.

“We have collected 42 signatures from the ports of Saint Vaast-la-Houque and Barfleur asking the authorities to take measures to prohibit this fishing method on the spawning grounds. A pelagic trawl is as big as a football pitch and towed by two boats,” declares the liner from Saint Vaast, Daniel Osmont, one of the signatories of the petition.

“This fishery is pursued by Breton and Norman boats on the spawning grounds of the Casquets off la Hague.”

An intensive fishery which according to the signatories threatens the future of bass.

“One doesn’t have to be an ecologist to understand the damage resulting from this type of fishing. The quotas are not even respected and it’s a complete waste. This abusive fishery will result in the disappearance of bass.”

In Brittany, several months ago, the liners obtained a total prohibition of pelagic trawling in certain zones.

A few years ago the month of June was the best month for fishing.

Now it’s the worst, due to a shortage of fish, according to Daniel Osmont, who goes on to conclude “Let’s react quickly: when man has consumed the last fish, it will be too late to wake up to the fact that money cannot be consumed.”

This petition should shake fisheries into action and will not make for good relations between the professions.

[Comment – the above is yet another example of the increasing unrest occurring in France between the small coastal fishermen, in particular the traditional hand line bass fisherman, and the offshore pair trawler fishermen. The inshore coastal fishermen and handliners see their livelihoods being taken away from them by, ‘one sweep of a net’.]