Source: European Parliament
A number of cetacean populations in EU waters are under serious threat from high levels of bycatching.
This past winter, more than 1 200 North East Atlantic short-beaked common dolphins washed ashore along the French coastline alone, over 80 % of which were considered to have died as a result of bycatching.
The Baltic harbour porpoise is critically endangered and only a few hundred are left today. Bycatching is the most serious threat to this population, as a single incidental killing of a fertile female could have a devastating effect on the ability of the population to recover or even survive in the long term.
EU legislation is robust, but the Member States’ failure to comply with their obligations under the Habitats Directive will condemn these populations to extinction if the Commission does not take swift action.
The Commission has powers under Articles 11(4) and 12 of the Common Fisheries Policy to take emergency measures to alleviate serious threats to marine biodiversity. Will the Commission take action this year to protect our porpoises and dolphins?