Fishermen, environmentalists talk sustainability

By

Lindsey Partos, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Paris

Published on
June 1, 2009

Kick-started by a new sustainable initiative from the French government, fishermen and environmentalists met last week to discuss a range of fishing-related subjects.

Launched by French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo in February, the Grenelle de la Mer initiative contributes to a national strategy that will include objectives for the management of maritime activities, such as commercial fishing.

“We discussed the methodology behind France’s protected marine zones (AMPs) and the necessity to strengthen coordination between different ministries that oversee the sea,” a spokesperson for the group CNPMEM (Le Comité National des Pêches Maritimes et des Elevages Marins) told SeafoodSource.

In addition, said the spokesperson, meeting participants talked about the need to bolster recreational fishing regulations.

“This can be a problem. Take sea bass, for example: anglers are fishing as much as commercial fishermen,” said the spokesperson.

Also highlighted at the gathering, which included representatives from the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace, is the need to conduct new research on the impact of land pollution on fish stocks.

And with a nod toward alternative sources of revenue for fishermen, the spokesperson added that attendees spoke of interest in “diversifying the various activities of commercial fishermen, for example, taking tourists on discovery trips out to sea.”

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