[MARMAM] Invitation to co-sign a letter on static nets & MPAs

Fabian Ritter fabian.ritter at whales.org
Wed Feb 10 01:22:08 PST 2021

Dear fellow MARMAMers!

with this we would like to invite you to co-sign a letter to German Agriculture/Fisheries Minister Julia Klöckner asking her to ban static nets from MPAs.

In the Baltic Proper, the Critically Endangered harbour porpoise population today is threatened by extinction. Only a few hundred animals remain in this area. Studies have shown that just one by-caught animal per year is more than the population can endure. The most effective ways to mitigate bycatch are banning static nets and switching to alternative gears and thus avoiding the overlap between porpoise abundance and fishing effort with static nets. However, no such mitigation exists until today.
The expert advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) published in May 2020 elaborated necessary discrete mitigation measures so as to prevent the Baltic Proper harbour porpoise population from further decline. Inter alia, they recommended to exclude static net fisheries from marine protected areas in German, Polish, Swedish and Danish waters.
However, even after the EU Commission has started a process to implement emergency measures, Germany is still not willing to fully ban static nets from its MPAs. With the attached letter, we respectfully are asking the Minister to work towards that goal.

We would be happy if as many scientists from the marine mammal field would sign this letter. If you want to join us in this effort to achieve better protection of the Baltic Proper harbour porpoise, please let us know by sending your consent, together with your affiliation so that we can include you into the list of signees.

Thanks and best greetings,

PS: The letter was set up with the help of several harbour porpoise experts from Germany, UK, Sweden and Denmark.

Fabian Ritter
Policy Manager – Healthy Seas

Telefon: +49 (0)1766 900 34 06

WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation
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