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Top European chefs take electric pulse fishing off the menu

AFP  |  Paris 

More than 200 top chefs across have pledged to stop sourcing obtained by electric pulse fishing, days before an vote that could expand the use of the controversial technique, an ocean advocacy group said today.

"We refuse to work with coming from a method that condemns our future and that of the ocean," said the text written by Christopher Coutanceau, whose restaurant on the Atlantic coast in La Rochelle, western France, has earned two stars.

The practice involves dragging electrically charged lines just above the seafloor that shock marine life up from low-lying positions into trawling nets.

rules allow member states to equip up to five percent of their fleets with electrodes, and the method has been adopted in particular by Dutch vessels for sole.

On Tuesday, the is to vote on the practice, which critics say harms too many fish that are left on the seabed, as well as those that are harvested.

"Electric trawlers produce catches of poor quality, fish which underwent stress and are often marked by post- electrocution bruises," according to the text released by Bloom, a French NGO.

"It is impossible to work with such low-quality products."

The signatories included French chefs Helene Darroze, and Olivier Roellinger, who has longed worked to improve sustainability in the industry.

Spanish chefs and Quique Dacosta, Italy's Antonino Cannavacciuolo and Alfonso et Ernesto Iaccarino, and and of also signed the text.

On Wednesday, several members of the European parliament asked for a delay to next week's vote on electric pulse fishing, in order to allow time for an "informed debate".

For of the Low-Impact Fishers of (LIFE), which claims to represent about 80 percent of Britain's independent fishermen, a main problem is the lack of solid data on the long-term consequences of the practice on stocks.

The method is outlawed in many parts of the world, including China, but proponents say it is more environmentally friendly and results in lower fuel usage for boats.

Bloom had already filed in October a case against the with the European Commission, accusing the country of illegally authorising its trawlers to use the technique.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 01:00 IST