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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

EUROPEAN FISHING INDUSTRY OPPOSES EU BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY

Europêche is challenging the EU Commission’s new biodiversity strategy.

“It wants to ban fishing in 10% of waters and limit activity in 30%, as well as a ban on bottom trawling,” according to Javier Garat, President of European industry’s representative organisation. “This is without acknowledging all the efforts and achievements in fisheries management in recent years. Instead of putting effort into improved management where needed, the policy is a ban. What will be the consequences? More destruction of companies, jobs, wealth and greater dependence on imports from third countries that have standards far below those of the EU.

“Fishing has been singled out, the industry is set binding targets, while high carbon-footprint sectors such as oil, gas, dredging, aquaculture and shipping do not even merit a mention,” he said. “This is discriminatory treatment and window-dressing. The Commission is trying to greenwash its own image through fisheries restrictions.’

TOO MUCH RED TAPE IN EU FISHERIES REGULATIONS

Fishermen are generally of the opinion that there is too much ‘red tape’ about EU fisheries regulations, according to the Chairman of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee.

‘I don’t think there is a sector that has to face as many regulations as fishermen do. Professionals almost need a PhD to become a fisherman,” according to Pierre Karleskind, the French oceanographer and politician, “There is a need to reduce red tape and to make the European Maritime and Fisheries Regulations simpler, reducing the administrative burden,” he said.

ONE ATLANTIC COD CAN PRODUCE 1,400 SANDWICH BAGS!

Fish scales, normally a by-product of food preparation, can be used to make electronic devices and food bags. Research work is successfully developing these uses rather than disposal of the scales.

In the UK Lucy Hughes, a product design graduate from the University of Sussex, has won the UK and international James Dyson Award for MarinaTex, a plastic film substitute created from fish waste and red algae, resulting in the use of fish scales in bakery bags. The strength and durability made it a viable replacement for the thin, transparent plastic used in bakery bags and sandwich packaging and it biodegrades naturally within four to six weeks in soil at the correct temperature.

And in the USA, the American Chemical Society has revealed details of research work which has shown how fish scales can be used instead of plastic to make electronic devices more environmentally friendly.