Appeal

Urge the EU Commission to Ban Destructive Fishing in Protected Waters

34,610 signatures. Let’s get to 50K

What You Need to Know

Bottom trawling is one of the world’s most destructive fishing practices. By dragging weighted nets along the ocean floor — some up to 240 meters wide — bottom trawling devastates coastal habitats, kills marine life indiscriminately, and depletes fish stocks. Just as bulldozing a forest destroys an ecosystem that has taken centuries to grow, bottom trawling decimates the seabed in a single motion, scraping up coral reefs and any other life in its path. 

Shockingly, bottom trawling is still permitted in some of Europe’s most fragile underwater ecosystems even though they have been designated as marine protected areas (MPAs). 

What’s the Issue?

Bottom trawling is responsible for more than 90% of discarded fish in the EU and accidentally ensnared and killed turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. This harmful practice not only threatens Europe’s fish stocks but also the livelihoods of low-impact fishers and fisheries across the continent. In the Mediterranean, for example, 58% of all fish stocks remain overfished, largely because of bottom trawling, which makes it nearly impossible for low-impact fishers to keep up. By banning bottom trawling in MPAs as a starting point, marine life can recover, and we can preserve the low-impact fishing traditions that many communities depend on.

Bottom trawling is a destructive fishing practice that drags heavy nets across the ocean floor · Greenpeace
Dragged nets crush, tear up, and entangle delicate reefs, destroying natural habitats
The nets can accidentally trap turtles, dolphins, and other marine life, leaving them to die · Greenpeace
Bottom trawling gear is responsible for 93% of reported discards in the EU (1 million tonnes between 2015-2019) · Greenpeace
Low-impact fishing is more sustainable, but bottom trawlers exploit and deplete fish stocks, leaving little for local fishers

Campaign goals

We’re urging the European Commission to take action. It has the power to: 

Hold leaders accountable

Oversee the EU Marine Action Plan, which calls on EU Members to submit roadmaps to ban bottom trawling in protected waters.

Support fishers

Promote sustainable fisheries and fishing practices that support marine conservation efforts.

Protect MPAs

Strengthen the management and enforcement of existing marine protected areas.

Why your voice matters

Public pressure can drive change. By raising our voices together, we can demonstrate public demand for immediate action to protect the ocean. Your support is critical in safeguarding marine ecosystems for future generations, ensuring sustainable fisheries, and promoting biodiversity.

Cover Photo: Umeed Mistry | Ocean Image Bank
Supporters
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Adri S

i am signing because the fishing indistry is destructive enough outside of protected waters. it should absolutely be illegal to fish in protected area…

9 hours ago
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Wendi S

I'm not a monster

1 day ago
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Roseann D

All water is connected. what happens in one area affects other areas!

1 day ago
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Tatiana Č

because I CARE about the ocean and all the living beings in it... And I believe a healthy ocean is vital for us and the whole planet and it is just do…

1 day ago
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Sandra H

are oceans are the rock of our entire Earth and we must must protect them.

1 day ago
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Ashley B

your damaging the earth and everything that lives on it!

2 days ago
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Hailey D

Overfishing is a serious problem and is destructive to natural ecosystems.

2 days ago
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Briain C

I want to protect the seas from the predatory capitalists who would destroy our planet to make money.

3 days ago
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Bethany J

NATURE IS WITHERING AWAY AND I SIT HERE HEARTBROKEN NOT BEING ABLE TO TAKE ACTION. THE WORLD NEEDS TO CHANGE. FAST

3 days ago
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Sharon G

Too many precious animals are losing their lives due to Human ignorance!

3 days ago
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Keith A

Sustainable fishing is important to protect species.

5 days ago
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Maureen L

this is horrible & cruel

5 days ago
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Kimberly L

this so disgusting it needs to stop now taking the lives of endangered fish and mammals just need a better system no

6 days ago
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Joyce a

species are disappearing every day and it needs to stop. selfish greed shouldn't destroy this planet so our children can live.

6 days ago
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Anna A

we need our fish and ocean animals to live, not become obsolete.

6 days ago
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Anne C

protected waters must be protected!

6 days ago
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Judy S

as the pictures this is a death sentence for any marine life caught in these nexts. we must protect them. we must save them.

1 week ago
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Luz C

I'm horrified that I have to sign a petition to enforce protections that are already in place. C'mon! What is wrong with people? Do the right thing an…

1 week ago
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Amy G

all animals need protected, or they all gonna be extinction

1 week ago
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Nan M

there is no planet B

1 week ago
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anne-alexandre A

C'est important pour moi de faire ce que je peut pour défendre les causes qui me semblent justes, même si ce n'est pas énorme, c'est toujours une gout…

1 week ago
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Paula S

The future deserves fish & clear water

1 week ago
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Deborah W

we ALL MUST PROTECT THENOCEANS AND MARINE LIFE

1 week ago
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Derien C

fishing is a hobby that I believe everyone should be able to enjoy. However, when I see the damage that has been done by large scale commercial fishin…

1 week ago
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Mary B

all fauna and flora are valuable in their own right. The earth is not a resouce and commodity to be destroyed just for human control

1 week ago
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