In its Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the European Commission notes worryingly that only 19% of the sea area is protected. Underlining the need to better protect our seas, the Commission set a goal of protecting at least 30% of the sea, of which a third should be strictly protected.
Although a laudable goal, the Commission’s approach about ‘strict protection’ has been seen by anglers as worrying
at times, notably when it controversially put angling on the same foot as mining, calling them both ‘extractive activities’. This is no longer the case.
Furthermore, in its resolution on the Strategy, the European Parliament stressed that “a clear definition of strict protection needs to be produced” to clarify what kind of activity could or should be allowed in these strictly protected areas.
The European Anglers Alliance is thus looking forward to the organisation of the EU-LIFE Platform meeting
dedicated to this very question of strict protection. Under the auspices of the Commission’s DG Environment and other key European agencies, the meeting will take place on 22-23 March 2022
in La Rochelle (France).
Building on a survey of Member States, the meeting will seek to understand how the seas’ strict protection is being implemented across Europe. This should foster exchanges of views between stakeholders and improve the knowledge around these strictly marine protected areas. We hope that everyone will see and understand the positive contribution anglers can have in such areas, as was highlighted during the RecFishing Forum’s event
dedicated to the topic. More information should be released in the coming months, stay tuned!