Plaice and sole catches slowly becoming more sustainable

Beam trawlers modernised, fewer government checks a matter of concern

The balance between the economic and ecological interests of the cutter fishing fleet is slowly improving. The Court of Audit had concluded in 2008 that economic interests took precedence in policy decisions on fish catches. Stricter European standards have been introduced for plaice and sole catches since 2008. Furthermore, harmful beam trawling techniques are being replaced, with the aid of European funding, with less harmful techniques. Fish quality labels have strengthened sustainable fishing methods on the North Sea in the past five years. The government must continue to carry out checks and enforce policy. It is therefore a matter of concern that fewer inspections are being made.