New EU Marine Motion Plan arrange for failure if Member States should not held accountable
Actions proposed won’t be ample to cease EU international locations on their path to destruction.
The EU Fee has lastly printed its long-awaited Motion Plan to handle the impression fisheries have on marine ecosystems. The Motion Plan, which was initially set to be printed in 2021 however was delayed resulting from stress from the fishing foyer, was going to be a historic alternative to rework European fisheries to make sure a sustainable and viable future for nature and other people. Whereas the Motion Plan is a part of the EU Biodiversity technique for 2030, in its present state it fails to guard nature and reverse the degradation of ecosystems.
An ideal instance is the difficulty of bycatch: the incidental catch of species corresponding to seabirds in fishing gear. Yearly, hundreds of dolphins, sea turtles and seabirds in Europe die as bycatch. Nonetheless, and whereas options to keep away from bycatch are largely out there, European international locations have largely failed of their obligations to handle this and so far, the Fee has not taken authorized motion to handle this urgent challenge . A lot of the Motion Plan merely reiterates the European international locations’ obligations beneath present EU laws. However the inefficiency of the 2012 Motion Plan  has proven that with out correct enforcement from the Fee, no actions are taken nationally.
Balearic Shearwater, copyright Richard Stonier. from the surfbirds galleries
Member States have till March 2024 to determine nationwide roadmaps to implement the Motion Plan. For this to not turn out to be one other ‘inaction plan’, we urge Member States to decide to a fast and environment friendly implementation, and the Fee to launch a public science-based evaluation of those roadmaps, to require Member States to handle any weaknesses recognized, and to intently monitor and correctly implement their well timed implementation.
There isn’t any motive for the Fee to attend any longer to take authorized motion in opposition to Member States which might be already breaching the regulation, and instantly use all of the powers at its disposal to implement present environmental laws. That is important to fulfill worldwide biodiversity and local weather commitments.
Anouk Puymartin, EU Marine Coverage Officer, BirdLife Europe:
“The set of initiatives launched in the present day by the European Fee won’t achieve making certain a wholesome sea for our future. A structural transformation of European fisheries to respect nature at sea and profit the individuals who depend upon it, is essential for our ocean to have a preventing likelihood to outlive and play its function of local weather regulator. Many marine species are already on the point of extinction, such because the Balearic Shearwater. Time just isn’t on our facet and this new Motion Plan won’t ship if not adopted by authorized motion to carry Member States accountable.“