*[Enwl-eng] We can still save our ocean

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Jun 7, 2021, 1:31:38 PMJun 7
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Massive fishing nets scoop up the seabed destroying everything and killing hundreds of marine animals. Tomorrow, our MEPs could vote to ban the use of these nets and protect our oceans. But our voice has to be stronger than the fishing lobby.


Coral reefs, sea turtles, starfish, and countless other marine species will become extinct in Europe if we don’t take action right now. [1]

A practice called bottom-trawling causes more direct and avoidable damage to the ocean floor than any other human activity in the world. [2] And it’s happening more in the EU than anywhere else in the world. From the Strait of Sicily to the North Sea, the EU seabed is trawled more than five times the global average. [3]

Tomorrow could be a turning point. If we finally start to protect our ocean from the abuses of industrial fishing, there’s a chance that the ocean may recover in a few decades. [4] A ban on bottom-trawling in marine protected areas by our representatives in the EU could signal the start of much needed change to save our ocean.

But it won’t happen without public pressure. Last week with tweets and emails, our community helped move European Members of Parliament (MEPs) of the environment committee, who voted to prohibit harmful activities in Marine Protected Areas. [5] But now we need to win the final vote with all MEPs.

Take action to protect our oceans!
Green seaweed takes up bottom half of photo, blue sea in background, play button in center.

See the updated email below we sent two weeks ago and take action to protect our ocean before it’s too late.

[1] https://www.greenpeace.org/aotearoa/story/what-is-bottom-trawling-and-why-is-it-bad-for-the-environment/
[2] https://europe.oceana.org/en/our-work/bottom-trawling/overview
[3] https://europe.oceana.org/en/press-center/press-releases/oceana-urges-bold-action-ban-bottom-trawling-europes-protected-areas
[4] https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52122447
[5] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/235170/2021-05-28-roll-call-votes.pdf




Fishing nets as tall as a three-storey building and as wide as a football field scoop up the seabed everyday. In seconds, these nets destroy everything in their path, killing dolphins, seals, corals, seahorses and hundreds of other marine species.

This harmful industrial fishing practice is called bottom-trawling. [1] It’s happening right here in Europe, in the jewel of our oceans, inside Marine Protected Areas. [2] But finally we have a chance to stop it.

Today, our European Members of Parliament (MEPs) could vote to ban bottom-trawling in protected areas. But the fishing lobby wants to prevent the ban so that commercial fishing companies can continue to maximise profits by catching huge quantities of “product” in one go. [3]

This is where we come in. MEPs are our elected representatives, they represent us. They listen to interest groups like the fishing lobby, but they also need to listen to people from this community like you, Vladimir. Together, let’s counter the pressure MEPs are facing from the fishing lobby with a massive show of people power. Will you sign?

Stop destroying our oceans

When fishing nets are dragged across the ocean floor, they catch shrimp and octopuses, but also destroy deep-sea coral and sponge communities like starfish. Once these are destroyed, other fish and other species dependent on them for spawning, shelter, nurseries, protection, and food, may also disappear.

This practice causes more irreversible damage to the seabed than any other human activity in the world. [4] It effectively turns our precious marine ecosystems into a wasteland.

At the end of May, our community tweeted and emailed MEPs in the environment committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament voting on a ban on bottom-trawling. All of the people we targeted voted to prohibit harmful activities in Marine Protected Areas and there was overwhelming support to protect our ocean. [5]

Thanks to this vote, it’s now up to all MEPs to decide the ban’s fate. If thousands of us show an outpouring of support to protect our marine life, it could help them stay strong against the fishing lobby who are doing everything they can to stop the ban. Add your signature now!

Stop destroying our oceans

Together, we’ve been working for over 4 years to save our ocean. Last year, with a broad coalition of partners we delivered almost half a million signatures to the European Council calling for an end to overfishing. [6]

Back then, EU politicians failed to limit catches to sustainable levels. But every action we take together paves the way for the ones we will win and now we have another big opportunity to protect our ocean: sign and message your MEP to stop commercial fisheries from destroying our ocean!

With hope,
David (London), Giulio (Rome), Annemarie (Berlin) and the rest of the WeMove Europe team


P.S. In addition to being highly destructive, the heavy trawl gear used to scoop up the ocean floor also releases huge amounts of carbon stored in the seabed. If we don’t ban bottom-trawling, we will not be able to transition into low-impact, low-carbon fisheries in Europe. Sign now!


[1] https://europe.oceana.org/en/our-work/bottom-trawling/overview
[2] https://europe.oceana.org/en/publications/reports/unmanaged-unprotected-europes-marine-paper-parks
[3] https://www.greenpeace.org/aotearoa/story/what-is-bottom-trawling-and-why-is-it-bad-for-the-environment/
[4] https://europe.oceana.org/en/our-work/bottom-trawling/overview
[5] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/235170/2021-05-28-roll-call-votes.pdf
[6] https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/save-our-seas


WeMove Europe is an independent and values-based organisation that seeks to build people power to transform Europe in the name of our community, future generations and the planet.

WeMove Europe is funded by donations from our community across Europe. Can you chip in with a few euros a month and help make sure we can move fast to win the campaigns that matter to all of us? Donate

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Sent: Monday, June 07, 2021 6:32 PM
Subject: We can still save our ocean

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