Endangered puffins threatened by ‘shameful’ EU meddling, Sunak warned | UK | News | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Britain’s puffins should be protected by the closure of a fishery in UK waters, no matter tried meddling by the European Union, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been advised.

The UK Government introduced the closure of all Scottish waters and the English North Sea to sand eel fishing – an essential constituent within the weight-reduction plan of seabirds – in January, with the transfer coming into drive in late March.

However, the choice has been challenged by the European Commission, which has requested session with the UK to debate the legitimacy of the closures – in a transfer conservationists have branded “shameful”.

A coalition of conservation teams is backing the Government’s stance, which they are saying helps a variety of under-pressure wildlife together with seabirds comparable to puffins and kittiwakes, plus seals, porpoises, whales, haddock and whiting.

Sand eels are focused for his or her oil and use in feed for livestock and farmed salmon, with the closures affecting EU fishing vessels.

The UK transfer to implement the closures to all boats concentrating on the fish comes after knowledgeable recommendation that prohibiting fishing for sand eels within the North Sea will profit seabirds, fish and marine mammals.

The Government needs to enhance the resilience of seabirds within the face of chook flu, and worldwide fisheries scientists have acknowledged their recommendation on quotas didn’t bear in mind the wants of wildlife which feed on the fish.

Consultations discovered 95 p.c of respondents in England and 97 p.c in Scotland again strikes to ban sand eel fishing in UK waters.

The coalition of conservation teams warn species which are depending on sand eels are in decline, with puffin numbers down by 23 p.c previously few many years and kittiwake populations down by 43 p.c, with unsustainable fishing one of many key drivers for the falls.

And in the previous few years, avian flu has killed tens of 1000’s of birds together with gannets and skuas, devastating already declining species and reversing optimistic tendencies in others, they warn.

The UK is failing on 11 out of 15 marine indicators for good environmental standing, significantly on seabirds, and the closures of the sand eel fisheries within the North Sea “throws a lifeline to UK seabirds”, the organisations mentioned.

An open assertion from the teams, which embrace the RSPB, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), the Wildlife Trusts, Wildlife and Countryside Link, the Angling Trust and European conservation organisations, mentioned it’s “incumbent” on the EU to assist the UK’s transfer.

They are urging the EU to rethink its current place.

Kirsten Carter, head of UK marine coverage on the RSPB, mentioned: “Sand eel fishery closures in the UK will throw a vital lifeline to seabird populations that have been hit repeatedly by pressures such as overfishing, climate change and highly pathogenic avian influenza.

“We totally assist the UK Government in staying the course on this very important concern and see this as a primary step in the direction of seabird restoration.”

Hugo Tagholm, executive director of Oceana UK, said: “The UK has taken progressive and essential motion in ending the business fishing of sand eels and we urge the Government to face robust within the face of those retrogressive challenges from the EU, that are clearly pushed by aggressive techniques from the economic fisheries foyer.”

Ariel Brunner, director of BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, said: “The EU’s determination to problem such a optimistic measure is just shameful.

“The European Commission is seeking to prevent the UK from taking urgently needed action which the EU itself should have taken long ago.”

And Richard Benwell, chief govt of Wildlife and Countryside Link, described the EU’s problem to the UK’s determination as “hugely disappointing”.

He mentioned: “We sympathise with economic concerns, but sand eel fishery closures will ultimately boost many fish stocks including haddock and whiting, providing a more reliable future for the fishing industry in these waters, and help restore struggling seabird and mammal populations.”