MEP warns that Driftnet Ban will cost jobs


Ian Duncan MEP has delivered an early warning to the European Commission that he will oppose their proposed blanket ban on the use of driftnets in EU waters.

The Commission’s plans are currently being examined by the European Parliament’s Environment and Fisheries Committees and Mr Duncan will tomorrow make the case for an outright rejection of the driftnet ban, due to come in to force in January 2015.

The Commission argue that driftnet fishing damages the sea bed and causes the deaths of protected species such as dolphins, turtles and sea birds.

Mr Duncan is highly critical of this one-size-fits-all approach, particularly given the commitment in the newly reformed Common Fisheries Policy to be sensitive to the needs of individual Member States.
Mr Duncan commented:

‘This one-size-fits-all policy will cost jobs and destroy the livelihoods of driftnet fishermen in the UK. Britain’s coastline is home to hundreds of traditional, small-scale, family run driftnet boats. These have a negligible impact on the surrounding marine environment and – as verified by the Marine Stewardship Council – have the sustainability credentials to prove it’.

He added:

‘While protecting marine life and their environment is of undoubted importance, a total ban on small-scale driftnet fisheries without any room for manoeuvring, is at best disproportionate and at worst down right unfair. It is yet another example of the European Commission micro-managing from Brussels when they should instead be letting our fishermen get on with what they do best.  Fish.'

Mr Duncan is instead calling for better enforcement of the existing regulations and believes that this is a matter best left for individual Member States to regulate.


Ian Duncan is a Member of the both the European Parliament’s Environment and Fisheries Committees.

He is also the ECR Group’s UK Spokesman on Fisheries.


European Commission -

There are two driftnet fisheries in the UK that have achieved Marine Stewardship Council certification. They are West Cornwall and Hastings -

Press –