Earlier this week a group of protesting local fishermen in the French port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz formed a barrier, forcing a seine netter owned by les Sables d’Olonne company ACAV to cancel its landing there.
The truck was already waiting at the quayside, but as the protestors prevented the landing from taking place, the ACAV seine netter was forced instead to steam northwards to land its catch at La Rochelle instead.
According to small-scale fishing group Platforme Petite Pêche, the fishermen in the Basque region have been alerted of the dangers they feel the seine netting method represents
‘From the start, our association has strongly condemned this destructive fishing gear. We therefore support the action carried out in Saint-Jean-de-Luz and once again call for a ban on the seine net in all French waters,’ a spokesman for Platforme Petite Pêche said.
‘This is a technique with excessive fishing capacity, with catastrophic effects on stocks, and for all fishing fleets by emptying the fishing grounds and bringing down prices at auction, while they boast that this is an economical and environmentally responsble technique. This is causing social and economic disaster for all other fishing sectors, from the 6.50 metre line boats to the 20 metre trawlers.’
Platforme Petite Pêche states that as seine netting has expanded from Brittany, it has now extended to waters along the French Atlantic coast, and these boats can operate as little as three miles from the coast.
‘In the Channel this method has been criticised by trawler operators because of the catastrophic impact of the Dutch seine netters. It is authorised in the Channel and so far only Brittany and the Mediterranean have managed to contain the expansion of this fishing method.’
According the Platforme Petite Pêche, the fishermen in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region intend to maintain their pressure to have seine netting outlawed in their waters, and they can count on the support of their colleagues in the Pays de la Loire region.