152,853 of 175,000 signatures

European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission and Action Plan Coordinator


European countries claim to want to protect the ocean and restore biodiversity in this ecological and climate emergency. As such, the EU must finally phase out destructive fishing practices, starting with an immediate ban of bottom trawling in all Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This must be a commitment in the EU Action plan on oceans due to be released after the summer 2021.

Why is this important?

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]

The EU claims to protect our seas and restore biodiversity in this ecological and climate emergency, yet they still have not banned the disgraceful and destructive practice of bottom-trawling in “protected” areas.

With every day that passes, bottom-trawling destroys more and more marine life living on the seafloor and irreversibly damages our fragile marine ecosystems. Let’s show an outpouring of support from thousands of us to ensure that marine life is immediately protected from this unacceptable destruction.


  1. https://europe.oceana.org/en/publications/reports/unmanaged-unprotected-europes-marine-paper-parks
  2. https://europe.oceana.org/en/publications/reports/unmanaged-unprotected-europes-marine-paper-parks

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Form to send email

Help convince the EU Commission - in particular Oceans Commissioner Sinkevičius and Climate Action Commissioner Timmermans - to stop destructive fishing. Send an email now!

If you can, please write your own personalised message in your language to the European Commission. Please don’t forget to add a subject line for your email AND sign off at the end of the email with your name.

The key message is that we want the Ocean Action Plan to include a ban on bottom-trawling in our Marine Protected Areas.

Not sure what to say? Here are some suggestions:

  • Overfishing and particularly bottom-trawling is damaging ocean ecosystems and weakening the ocean’s ability to continue to absorb carbon and heat. #BanBottomTrawling
  • More than any other fishing method, bottom-trawling destroys and damages seafloor habitats, and reduces the amount and variety of life that lives there. #BanBottomTrawling
  • To become climate neutral we need to protect and restore environments that absorb carbon. If bottom-trawling continues as now, this won’t be possible. #BanBottomTrawling
  • With bottom-trawling fragile habitats that provide food and shelter for a huge and varied range of sea creatures can be crushed in minutes. Many never recover. How can you say the EU protects our biodiversity if this continues? #BanBottomTrawling
  • If you are serious about a transition to low-impact fishing, then there is no way that you can continue to allow the most destructive fishing practice, i.e. bottom-trawling, in our European seas. #BanBottomTrawling

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Please can you chip in?

With every day that passes, bottom-trawling irreversibly damages our fragile marine ecosystems. It’s extensive use causes more damage to the ocean floor than any other human activity in the world.

To continue mobilising and putting pressure to protect our ocean, we need the stability and flexibility that only small regular donations from WeMove community members like yourself can provide.

Will you chip in to help us protect starfish, corals, seahorses, hundreds of other marine species and habitats?


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