Friday, 17 July 2020

Does the Citizen Convention ask for the end of fishing?

There was certainly no fisherman in the panel of citizens drawn. Would they have endorsed proposals which, implicitly, point towards the end of the fishery?


The objective is "Food: encourage the development of sustainable low-emission fishing", a series of obvious proposals: ending overfishing, improving knowledge, achieving RMD, whale protection, decarbonation. However, certain analyzes and recommendations are very ambiguous.

Fishing in accusation

Fishing is considered one of the main sources of ecosystem disturbances sailors. Curiously, other major sources of disturbance have completely passed under silence. We know that disruptions in land-sea relations weaken productive capacities marine environments and that land-based pollution has a considerable impact on the quality waters and the sustainability of activities such as shore fishing, coastal fishing or shellfish farming. (cf Why sardines love chestnuts.) By elsewhere the development of sand and aggregate extraction, works for wind turbines increasingly disrupting the seabed, but this is not discussed. Towards an end to fishing?

It is first of all a question of limiting it, but the Convention proposes "to avoid fishing for fish in their natural environment. "This is clarified and confirmed:" We wish to modify our access routes fisheries resources, in particular by developing sustainable aquaculture farms respectful of the environment and health ". An integrated aquaculture model is discussed. Implicitly, it is therefore a question of moving towards an end to fishing for the benefit of integrated aquaculture in fresh and marine waters. Such initiatives are to be supported and encouraged. They are still largely experimental and cannot claim to replace fishing. This is the old fantasy the replacement of fishing by aquaculture.

Decarbonize yes, but how?

Pending this miracle or this mirage, the Convention recommends supporting fishermen to renewing ships, modernizing them and reducing consumption. Fishermen can only rejoice and they are well aware of this need, but "move from thermal boats to boats powered by green energies "remains an unrealistic prospect in the near future to come up. Many tests have been carried out but have not yet proven themselves. It's even more complicated at sea than on land. It should not be forgotten that fishermen will undoubtedly be obliged to give up very productive fishing areas for the development of wind farms, right already a considerable contribution from them in the fight against climate change?

Fishing has little impact overall

We can also remember that fishing provides quality protein at a cost much lower environmental than livestock. We can of course reduce it further, but can we place fishing boats and motorized pleasure boats on the same plane? Shouldn't not in priority to halt the development of a pleasure craft with a motorization overpowered, polluting and noisy? Let's not forget that these noises are a big factor in disruption for fish as the Covid crisis has shown. Once again, tends to impose a very negative vision of fishing carried by people without link with maritime culture and the realities of fishing. The fishermen are not a problem, but part of the solution, as demonstrated by their commitment to save and manage cash emblematic like the European red lobster, the lobster, the scallop, etc.