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‘They are killing the marine environment’: Joy as electric shock fishing banned after Brexit

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:51 16 February 2019

The stop electric fishing in Europe protest at Lowestoft fish market. Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Mick Howes

The stop electric fishing in Europe protest at Lowestoft fish market. Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Mick Howes

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The government have announced electric shock fishing equipment will be banned from UK waters after Brexit.

The stop electric fishing in Europe protest at Lowestoft fish market. Paul Lines and June Mummery. Picture: Mick HowesThe stop electric fishing in Europe protest at Lowestoft fish market. Paul Lines and June Mummery. Picture: Mick Howes

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs announced EU vessels will no longer be able to carry the electric pulse fishing equipment in UK.

The controversial fishing method uses electric signals to drive flat fish, such as sole, from the sea bed and into nets.

The method will be banned until further scientific research is conducted which will determine if it has an adverse affect on the marine environment.

The use of an electric current to fish was banned by the EU in 1998, but since 2006 pulse beaming trawling has been allowed under an EU derogation.

More than 80 Dutch vessels hold permissions to use this method in certain parts of the southern North Sea, including in UK waters outside the 12-mile zone.

On Wednesday a statutory instrument was put in place removing the current laws allowing the EU vessels to carry the shock equipment.

Fisheries Minister George Eustice said: ”There are serious concerns about pulse fishing and it is wrong that the EU has allowed it to happen.

“We will stop EU vessels pulse fishing in UK, safeguarding our marine environment and keeping our seas sustainable for future generations.”

Waveney MP, Peter Aldous said the proposed legislation is “generally good news” but has concerns it may have some loop holes.

Mr Aldous said: “The one concern we had is it is a ban on foreign vessels who are using it in UK waters, it could then be used by British fleets.”

June Mummery of BFP Eastern said there has been a noticeable decrease in sea life and blames shock fishing equipment.

Mrs Mummery said: “It is killing my industry and how it has been allowed to happen in beyond me.

“We have seen hardly any sole, we have seen no cod - Paul Lines and I have been lobbying for this for three years,” Mrs Mummery added. “We will not rest until it is banned, because it is not about what they catch - it is about what they kill and they are killing the marine environment.”

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