Fisheries minister Carola Schouten has told the Dutch fishing industry she is to appeal against a ban on pulse fishing which the European Union is set to implement, website Nu.nl said on Friday.
The European parliament voted in favour of the ban, which will have a major impact on the Dutch fishing industry, on Tuesday.
The appeal process can take several years, and so nothing will now change for the fishermen in the short term, the website quotes the minister as saying in her letter to the industry.
Dutch fishermen have invested millions of euros in specialized equipment since the ban on pulse fishing was lifted several years ago under a scheme to allow research into ‘innovative methods’ and some 40% of the Dutch fleet now uses the system.
Pulse fishing involves sending a current of electricity through sections of the sea bed, partially stunning sole and plaice and forcing some into the net.
Its supporters say pulse fishing is less destructive than beam trawling, which involves dragging a heavy metal bar across the sea bed. Opponents say it is a cruel and unnecessary method of fishing and is depleting fish stocks.
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