What: Join environmental NGOs in a visually powerful action to hand over more than 150,000 petition signatures from citizens to EU commissioners calling on the EU to #BanBottomTrawling, starting with an immediate ban in Marine Protected Areas.

Who: Oceana, Seas at Risk, Our Fish, Environmental Justice Foundation, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and WeMove Europe

When: Monday 20 December 7:45-9:00 am CET

Where: Meet us outside of the EU Commission’s Berlaymont building, in front of the EU flags on Boulevard Charlemagne (in front of number 26).

Why now: The EU Action Plan on marine ecosystems, announced in the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, is expected in early 2022 and environmental NGOs are urging for it to include a ban on bottom trawling. As EU environment ministers gather in Brussels, NGOs want to expose the incompatibility of destructive fishing with the EU’s biodiversity and climate commitments.

About: A petition by environmental NGOs, supported by citizens’ platform WeMove, calling to ban bottom trawling in EU marine protected areas has gathered over 150 000 signatures – more than the total number of fishers active in the entire EU. On 20th December, NGOs will hand over the petition to Commissioner Sinkevičius, responsible for the ocean and fisheries, and Executive Vice-president Timmermans (TBC) to urge them to act with ambition on the upcoming EU Action Plan on marine ecosystems. The visual action will be followed by photo/interview opportunities.

Bottom trawling is the most unselective and destructive fishing gear and its continuous use has led to drastic, and in some cases irreversible, degradation of marine ecosystems including habitats like corals and seagrass, as well as sensitives species like sharks, turtles and dolphins. Moreover, bottom trawling disturbs the seabed and releases large amounts of carbon stored in sediments into the sea – as much as the entire aviation sector releases into the atmosphere. Recent data by Oceana reveals how EU countries continue to allow destructive fishing in Europe’s Marine Protected Areas, with over 2.5 million hours of bottom fishing occurring in 2020 inside areas supposedly designated to protect Europe’s most valuable and threatened marine species and habitats. A socioeconomic analysis commissioned by Seas At Risk has revealed that a ban on bottom-contacting gear (bottom trawling and bottom dredging) in Marine Protected Areas would yield net benefits as soon as four years after the ban comes into force.

More Video and visuals available.

Please let us know if you wish to join (so we can keep you updated on the latest information regarding this event) at .