Press Release: EU Nature Restoration Law cannot restore marine ecosystems without addressing Fisheries Impacts

Sep 28

Press Release: EU Nature Restoration Law cannot restore marine ecosystems without addressing Fisheries Impacts

28th September 2023


After the Summer recess in the EU Parliament, final trilogue negotiations have begun on the Nature Restoration Law (NRL) and will determine how ambitious and effective this law will be.

The negotiations will take place between the Council and the Parliament and while the Councils position is somewhat more ambitious, there are certain amendments brought forward by the Parliament which are essential for effective marine restoration.

One article in the European Parliament’s position (article 14a)  states that Member States will have to jointly adopt fisheries management measures and adhere to these processes under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). These Joint Recommendations would aim to protect marine protected areas from damaging fishing activities and these processes have barely been implemented by Member States since the reform of the CFP a decade ago. The article includes ambitious wording and timelines and this addition to the NRL will help ensure the timely implementation of management measures and intervention if not done so. Unfortunately, the Council is showing a lack of ambition when it comes to including this article in the final agreed text.

Nature restoration at sea is impossible without effective management of fishing activities and we call on the Ministers of the Irish government to support article 14a of the Parliament position.


Grace Carr, Marine Advocacy Officer with the Irish Wildlife Trust, said:

“We really don’t need another piece of legislation which is full of loopholes and lacks any real meaning when it comes to the implementation of effective management in our marine protected areas. Allowing destructive fishing practices in areas we are trying to restore and protect is pointless and it is vital that we have strong laws in place so we can finally stop this happening. With new Irish Marine Protected Area legislation to be released soon, we hope Irish members of the European Council will be supportive of this key article for marine restoration.”


Contact – Grace Carr, Marine Advocacy Officer,


Image: © Chris Hill Photographic