French Fishermen Protest

Members of the French fishing industry are outraged over a fishing method that is popular among several nations in the European Union. The fishing method that is causing the uproar is known as pulse fishing. This method is heavily utilized by those in the Netherlands fishing community.

Pulse fishing involves using an electrified net to pass a stunning current through the waters near schools of fish. When the fish are stunned, they float to the surface of the water where fishermen easily collect them into the fishing vessel.

This method of fishing has been the focus of action for many years by environmental groups. After several attempts, pulse fishing was recently banned by the European Parliament. However, the law has not gone officially into effect.

French fishermen contend that Dutch fishing boats are still using pulse fishing, and that this is greatly depleting the fish stocks around the coastal waters of northern France. Most French fishermen are angered, and they are protesting pulse fishing.

To bring more attention to their cause, the French fishemen blocked the ports of Calais and Boulogne. While the blockade was in effect, ferry traffic along the English Channel was at a virtual standstill.

After the French government agreed to meet with the French fishermen and listen to their grievances, the blockade was called off. However, traffic into the ports was taking some time to returning to normal.

Authorities in the region urged French President Emmanuel Macron to get a handle on the situation so that there were no more blockades. The government will take up the issue of fishing rights in general with the European Commission. That body is scheduled to draw up an entire list of new regulations for European Union countries. Until all the new regulations are settled in place, Dutch fishing crews said that their use of pulse fishing would continue.

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