EU Recreational Fishermen to European Parliament Plenary ahead of vital vote: Support the Nature Restoration Law!

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06 Jul

Next week Wednesday 12 July, the Members of the European Parliament will be deciding on a fundamental text for EU rivers and marine habitats: the Nature Restoration Law. The European Anglers Alliance (EAA) represents the voice of 25 million European anglers who are engaged on a daily basis in nature restoration activities (*). This is why, the EU anglers support the Commission’s reasonable proposal for compelling, relatively ambitious but very much-needed nature restoration objectives, in particular those in relation to the restoration of the European aquatic ecosystems.

We request to our representatives in the European Parliament that they adopt a constructive position towards this text, and facilitate the rapid approval of this regulation.

  • Recognise the positive role of low-impact activities contributing to the restoration of nature

Anglers actively protect nature by monitoring the environment, collecting data, implementing educative programmes on nature protection, and improving and creating habitats. All these activities are made on a voluntary basis thereby contributing millions of euros in to the environment. Their positive actions and the low impact of their activities should continue allowing them to access all areas, including protected areas.

We oppose the creation of no-go zones (passive restoration without any human presence) that in no case would guarantee the effective restoration of ecosystems – which must remain the objective of this text.
 

  • Restoring free-flowing rivers must be a priority

 Europe hosts the most fragmented rivers in the world and the restoration of free-flowing rivers is a pre-requisite for a successful Nature Restoration Law. Restoring biodiversity will only be possible if more than 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers are restored in appropriate areas. This can be done quickly just by removing obsolete barriers, but also by concentrating on the removal of barriers from rivers where these rivers are essential for whole ecosystems to thrive.
 
The impact of removing barriers from these rivers has many more positive effects for society and the environment than if the barriers were still present. In addition to all the ecosystem services generated upstream and downstream, these rivers with abundant life would allow rural communities to reinvest their environment for tourism or recreational activities.

  • Preserve the restored habitats

Biodiversity must be given time to recover, which is only possible if the proper conditions are in place and do not deteriorate. This is why, the exceptions to the continued restoration of designated protected areas must be limited.

  • Reinforce the protection of marine ecosystems in the Annexes

Aquatic and semi-aquatic animals weigh heavily in the IUCN Red List. It is important to be ambitious and support an extended list of species that need to be protected to avoid the total collapse of aquatic biodiversity.




(*) The European Anglers Alliance (EAA) represents the voice of 25 million European anglers who are engaged on a daily basis in nature restoration activities.


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