Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Is Electric Fishing Cheating Our Oceans?

Is Electric Fishing Cheating Our Oceans?


Electric pulse fishing, a giant net attached to a fishing boat laden with electrodes, is dragged across the seabed producing an electric field in the water. It shocks the fish on the seafloor which then float up to the surface for fishermen to scoop up. In some ways, it’s an improvement over commercial fishing methods like trawling, but it could be turning the sea into a desert. For centuries, commercial fishing boats used a conventional method called beam trawling. The boats drag massive chains along the seabed to force the bottom dwelling shrimp and flat fish out from under the sand. But this method is costly. Fishermen are required to use large amounts of diesel to power the boat dragging the heavy nets. It’s also considered one of the most environmentally dangerous fishing methods. Chains damage the seafloor and the huge nets unintentionally catch other species. The first trials with marine electoral trawls in Europe, were conducted in the 1970s in the Netherlands. It was promoted as a more sustainable alternative to beam trawling, as carbon emissions are significantly lower and the seabed isn’t physically destroyed. But in the 90s, potential consequences of the method were surfacing. Yet, it’s still practiced despite bans and public outcry. So, buyers are starting to reject fish caught by it. The luxury chain hotel, Relais and Chateaux, and a group of Michelin starred chefs say they will not cook with pulse caught fish. [FOREIGN]. British and French supermarkets, Waitrose and Entremosche, will not sell fish caught this way either. Here’s why. Bloom, a French non-governmental organisation campaigning against the practice, says it permanently damages marine life. Just like trawling, electric pulse fishing is indiscriminate. All fish within the vicinity of the pulses are at risk. These pulses can break spines of fish like cod, haddock and pollock. It can even damage future populations. Electric pulse fishing has reduced the hatching rate of cod eggs in Dogger Bank North Sea by 25 percent. It could affect electro-sensitive species like sharks and rays. Sharks detect their prey, through sensory receptors that run along their sides. The European Union banned it in 1998 along with other destructive fishing methods, including the use of explosives, poisonous, or stupefying substances. But, it’s still happening. In 2006, the European Union granted 80 permits allowing members to use electric fishing to fulfill their fishing quota in the North Sea, in the name of research. The Dutch claims it uses 46 percent less fuel and catches 50 percent less unwanted marine life than other trawling methods. But even this may be causing grave damage. Research by the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies says, this type of current causes violent uncontrolled convulsions that leaves 50 to 70 percent of large cods with a fractured spine and internal bleeding after being electrocuted. Some fishermen believe this method is hurting their catch. One Belgium fisherman said that, “Where six years ago, it was not a problem to catch 15 kilograms of cod, this has fallen back to zero kilograms in recent years. Certainly, the last two years, nothing was caught anymore.” For now, the European Parliament will continue to negotiate with European institutions and member states to compromise on fishing regulations. That leaves the Netherlands able to continue electric pulse fishing as a form of research until the new legislation is in place. Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe, and hit that notification bell, so you’re notified every time we post a new video. See you next time.

100 comments on “Is Electric Fishing Cheating Our Oceans?

  1. So you are saying we should protest the less ecological harmful solution because it harms the fishes that are gonna be eaten?. What is even your point?

  2. Cheddar portrays this as a bad thing. Why? We have next to no extensive research as to how this affects marine life in the long term. And as for the Netherlands being allowed to carry on doing this for research purposes until the EU has finished its negotiations, seems like a good thing to me.

  3. I'm saying this as a man who knew neither method of how fisherman fished, I had no idea this method existed nor did I have any idea that the old method existed nor have I particularly cared about anything involving fishing in my entire life; so you can't get a more unbiased answer than mine.
    So you're trying to tell me that this form of fishing is worse than dragging the chain on the floor, as if; this is better than dragging a chain on the floor both for the environment and for our wallets. Chain fishing released a lot of carbon emissions into the air because it needed to burn so much fuel, and the chain itself is destroying the sea floors; both of these are polluting the air and the oceans damaging the ecosystems as well as the wildlife. This method localizes and minimize the damage, all they need to do is refine the method a bit so it doesn't damage so many clutches of sea eggs; or forbid sections of the ocean from being fished for certain periods of time or forever so that the fish in that area can repopulate what was lost from the prior fishing peroid without worrying about their clutches being damaged. But even as it is this is doing less damage overall when compared to the old method, I'm the kind of guy who wants to stop global warming and who cares about animals; but I don't care if some fishes spine gets snapped. Any dead fish we don't scoop up will be eaten by scavengers, Predators, filter feeders, or plants if the fish end up decomposing on the seafloor. There are also other kinds of fish who use bioelectrical shocks to hunt their prey, producing similar if not the exact same outcomes as this finishing method; I see only good things from this fishing method compared to the old way.

  4. "It does less damage than the alternative, but it still does damage and hurts 25% of the eggs so let's ban it and return to the old, more damaging method that destroyed the eggs instead."

  5. From now on I am asking my waiter or waitress if the fish on the menu was electrical pulse caught. I will help save the oceans. 😃😃😃😃😃😃

  6. Yeah how about we DON'T destroy the oceans? People need to invest in building aquaponics yesterday. Fish are great to eat but we shouldn't be destroying wild populations to get them.

  7. Omi.. the fish spines are broken.. well let's not eat them.. we much rather kill them and eat them with whole spines before we debone them..

  8. This is why I eat locally produced potatoes and free roaming chicken/eggs/milk, not fish from pacific ocean/avocados from Chile or siia seeds from other side of the world

  9. This type of fishing has been banned in our country because it causes harm to the marine and river lifeline. This type of practice make more harm then good. So it is better banned then useful.

  10. Seem that the oil companies are lobbying against this.
    This can obviously be solved by shocking the fishes less, so that they don't explode from the inside. I wouldn't be surprised if you could target certain frequencies to affect only certain species and whatnot.
    But since this method uses less diesel, it gotta be stopped before the issues with it can be fixed

  11. First of all: sources? Come on, I why should I believe your claims if you don't include citations?

    Second: why should I care about fish? How does the death and damage to these fish impact human life? I get that there is the environmental argument that is implicit within this issue, but if one doesn't already subscribe to this way of thinking then the whole argument is ineffective, so I must ask again, why should I care?

  12. Mankind seems determined to destroy the planet anyway they can. Japan is hunting whales again which I find disgusting.. Walking away from a treaty to let the mammals with the largest brains on the planet live in peace. Just like our A.H. president walked out of the The Paris Agreement.

  13. Let's come up with a more humane way to kill these fish that uses 10x more resources so the low income humans can never afford to buy fish again, because animals > humans.

  14. like all sea species, including lobster and shrimp, they've all migrated north to more comfortable temperatures, due to the global warming "myth".

  15. People fail to realize that we can’t have it all as humans. We have to use the method that’s more effective, cheaper and more sustainable.

  16. We need to do more research into fish behavior, including their diet, migration patterns and reproduction. In my opinion, we don't know enough about fish yet to establish the best guidelines that will keep the environment safe and people fed. What's certain is we are damaging the seafloor and something must be done before we drive more animals to extinction.

  17. There are several indicators that show the electric pulse fishing causes less damage, carefully investigated following the scientific method and those arguments are brushed of, and given the same importance as some Belgian fisherman claiming that years ago he caught 15kg and today none. That argument is empirical at best, but more likely topped with exaggeration.

    Also please note that the ban is more political than anything else. The French government has always been taken hostage by it fishermen and the French fishermen have not invested in new methods, so their reaction to that is that the new method needs to be forbidden, so nobody has it.

    The worst of this video is what it says implicitly, that it somehow is bad that the research continues. Research is important, better methods are vital.

  18. i came for unbiased scientific views on interesting subjects…
    After a video on the wall and this far from objective piece I will be unsubscribing.

  19. The thing here is:

    France doesn't have the technology and it's lobbying heavily to see the ban on electric fishing, which although it isn't without environmental impact, the impact can be much less than other older methods.

    It's a shame that the EU is basically run with heavy pressure from Germany and France, and that those two countries will do whatever it takes to get their will.

  20. All these mentions of the EU are a reminder that Sweden doesn’t participate in the Euro because it doesn’t want its fishing regulated

  21. This technology is actually way less harmfull to the envoirement than conventional fishing, but because those french fuckers couldn’t modernise in time they’re spreading false information aboun it and trying to get it banned throughout the EU.

  22. So let’s say this again. Pulse fishing exists since the 70s, by the Dutch. They’ve been doing it for decades, and never was there any problem. Evidence A: the Belgian fisherman saying that 5 years ago he could still catch lots of fish. Today there aren’t more pulse fishermen than 5 years ago, so there must be some other cause.

    You could conclude that this is therefore politics.
    Evidence B: French fishermen haven’t invested in fishing techniques for decades and find that they don’t catch as much fish as the Dutch. Even though the pulse fishing method is much more efficient. French restaurants therefore want to protect the incomes of their countrymen and come up with some bullshit made-up story. As you’ve all just been watching.

    Finally, you could say that Cheddar is biased.
    Evidence C: they don’t have a sponsor, so they have to get their money another way. French government? Also, if you think just 5 seconds about what they’ve just been telling you, you cannot but conclude they’re using illogical reasoning and are therefore talking bullshit.

    Conclusion: this whole video sucks, smells, and is just another example of fake news.

  23. Sure the method we currently use is much more destructive and the new one does less damage, but it still does some of the same types of damage so let's ban it.

  24. From all the info in the video, electric fishing seems much much better for the ecosystem. Why are you arguing for a more destructive and harmful way to fish?!

  25. Actually the electrocuting only happened to 4 out of 45 fish, and in addition these 45 fish were of a smaller size. This means the overall rate of fish snapping their spines is far lower than this video claims. Also, it has been determined that the sharks and rays are not affected.
    This video does not look at the actual facts, and follows the French lobby. French fishermen did not innovate and are now jealous of a good technique that they do not have. Instead of adopting this new technique that is better in practically every way, the French have started a lobby in the EU to ban pulse fishing altogether. Gotta love bureaucracy.

  26. Even though I'm not a fan of commercial fishing. I can't deny that electric pulse fishing is less damaging to the seafloor then the alternatives. Besides that, in the video it is mentioned that certain types of fish break the spine when caught with pulse fishing. She forgot to mention that those same fish also don't make it out of conventional nets alive.

  27. But the ocean is a desert not because it is dry (obviously), but because it has quite a low bioenergy production combined to other of earths bioms. A YouTube channel named “atlas pro” made quite an interesting video about that…

  28. Human logic on virtually anything: "Our old traditional methods are extremely destructive sure but these new methods that are provably vastly less destructive are still not completely non-destructive, so why bother updating our old methods?"

  29. There is much more nuance in this story. It has much to do with politics. The thing is that only the Dutch use it and fisherman in other countries like France and Britain don't or cannot invest. Even the Belgium institute ILVO is in favour of pulse (electric) fishing. It is much more animal and environmental friendly. That said…fishery should be and is bound to certain restrictions

  30. Studies also show that fish have no emotions or conscience and operate just by reflex. They are swimming vegetables. Regardless, the government has no right in telling people how they can and can not catch fish as long as it isn't hurting anyone else's property.
    I prefer my meat from fully conscious and emotive animals who think we are their friends just before we bash their skulls in. That is, cattle. Just to make any eco-terrorist paranoia a bit worse, as they're still wrong. Accelerationism can be a helpful tool.

  31. You're such a negative attitude towards this, and yet it's still better than the original form that dragged chains and destroy the sea beds, right? Your taking it very by Stone to this whole matter. If you're going to be biased you should present a solution to the whole thing. What would you have us to not catch any fish?
    You get a thumbs down in a comment which will help you, you get no subscription because you cannot percent a video without being biased. Learn to be unbiased you get my sport!!!

  32. All fishing methods damage the fish. So either you ban fishing as a whole. Or you allow fishing in a way that damages the fish and the environment the least. Electric pulse fishing is less damaging than older fishing methods.

  33. Pretty good video with pretty good information but it is delivered by the host in such a uninspiring, blan and boring way. Would be a good idea to invest in professional human hosts for higher production value.

  34. Ampullae of Lorenzini. Those are the electro-magnetic sensors possessed by Elasmobranchs (sharks, saktes, and rays).

  35. Please upvote as there is important info missing. More fish gets damaged with pulse fishing, but with traditional methods, those fish would have died. So its kinda better, as they are still able to reproduce. I don´t eat fish myself, but this technique is better in almost all ways than the traditional fishing methods, do some research if you like. The french do not like the Dutch to have this technique, as they outcompete them on the waters. A good solution would be for the EU to privatise waters, just like in iceland. That way, fishers will not fish away the fish from each other, as is happening right now with the ineffective fish quota.

  36. And now the french have the upper hand in the fishing industry. So much for the environment….

  37. The Netherlands leads the market in fishing technology and is giving the French a run for their money, thats why they are demonizing this and using the EU to get it banned. Also, earlier this week representatives passed a motion that legalises pulse fishing within Dutch waters, its up to the government now to stand up to French tyranny and put this new legalisation into effect. The EU and its lobbyist contributors can yell whatever they want, our fishermen will have food on their table.

  38. The french are just jealous puls fishing is much better for the fish the fish is so alive and can continue to live on when thrown back in the water

  39. Iie lie lie Bulshit the stop was political and there is now indipendent France study!!! is t much better plowing the oceans real hard ore just trowe dynimate in the ocean ???

  40. I am a fisherman on a ship fishing with the pulse. the pulse is the best invention for people and nature. CO2 emissions have been reduced by 50 percent. the fish also has less to lead underwater. this means that the fish often comes on board undamaged. the French have not innovated in this technique. now that we emit less fuel with the pulse and catch better fish, France is jealous and they want to ban the pulse. pulse fishing is the best fishing.💪🏻💪🏻🐟🐟🌊🌊

  41. Disgusting, what really sucks it destroys more then it gets WHERES PETA I guess fish are not cows or chickens, just like wind mills killing millions of birds and bats they don’t care cause they only protect who pay the most or let kill who pays the most

  42. Oh jeez. Humans are just too awesome lol
    The fish are gonna be hauled to the surface and suffocated to death in a few minutes, I don’t think breaking their spine first, probably killing them instantly, is any worse. It’s all probably better than being chomped and eaten by a bigger fish. Just saying. If something isn’t self aware (can it pass the mirror test, recognize itself) I don’t feel bad about killing it. If it can (elephants, marine mammals, great apes) then killing it is the equivalent of murder. Incidentally this is why I’m pro-abortion, a human fetus, even a one year old, is not self aware. I’m ok with banning the killing of people’s living, born babies though, even though I don’t consider them real humans until they’re around 2 (when a toddler can pass the mirror test). Apparently half the country now has no problem with actual infanticide though, so what do i know.

  43. Pulse fishing is 2 to 3 times more efficient and less harmful than trawling. The EU wants to limit the HUGE growth the Netherlands is offering the world. Don't think of this problem in a closed minded, small scale. Think globally on these regulations

  44. I notice when it comes to cons: it just is. When you're talking about a pro: its a claim.
    Seems you're not "reporting" objectively on this topic.

  45. I am no expert on this topic, but the way you're reporting on is sounds VERY biassed.
    – You claim there is a lot of evidence that this is less destructive and produces less CO2 than the old method.
    – And then as the arguments against it, you have a few French cooks and a Belgian fisherman?
    Where are the advantages of boom and chain trawling over this method, as you clearly seem to think those are a lot better? Why do you not mention those?

  46. Its just banned because the french could not compete with the dutch fishermen anymore… They're fuckung salty, idiots

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