Start of the action : 15/03/2017
For some years now, there is a conflict between water sports enthusiasts and professional fishermen in the area of Capbreton, Surfrider is taking action creating dialogue
SUMMARY OF THE SITUATION
From May 1st to October 30th, professional fishermen fish for sea bass with gillnets encircling the bayonet. The ships place one end of the net on the sand pad of the bay, then at very high speed to surprise the fish and trap it, they draw a spiral then head towards the shore, a few meters away from the surfers and come to “encircle” the fish. This tactic is near the shore in an area also frequented by water sports enthusiasts, especially surfers. Surfers have expressed their concern about the presence of nets because they are afraid to be injured or trapped by these fishing gears.
This technique has a significant impact on the aquatic environment and in particular, in this case, on the sea bass population threatened with extinction. Physical (noise, odors) and environmental nuisances have been the subject of several complaints and handrails that were filed by the seaside resorts as well as the Surf Federation in 2015.
Facing this threat, Philippe Garcia, a lover of its coastline and fishing, is investing as much energy as possible to ensure sustainable fishing and the safety of all ocean users. He launched a petition, alerted the media and raised his fight high, which, if it is carried on the Aquitaine coast, touches far beyond. Beyond local awareness actions, discussions, rallying to his cause, he chose to set up a Coastal Defenders action in order to be supported by Surfrider Foundation Europe.
A decree of 26 June 2006 states that “the laying and presence of any net are prohibited from June 1st to September 30th between 08 am and 08 pm along the coast of the department of “Landes and Pyrénées Atlantiques” in an area between the water limit at the time considered and 300 meters offshore”. A second decree specifies that the speed limit is 5 knots in the 300m band and that this zone is reserved for swimmers, surfers and water sports enthusiasts. The round trips of personal watercraft are authorized “according to a trajectory as perpendicular as possible to the shore.” The professional fishermen concerned claim to hold an authorization from the DML (Delegation of the Sea and Coastal Areas). An investigation has been underway at the Dax prosecutor’s office since November 2018.
That professional fishermen and surfers can coexist safely in compliance with the various regulations and tolerances related to the exercise of their activities.
Friday, June 12, 2020, the Maritime Court of Bordeaux found the professional fishermen guilty of acts of violation of fishing regulations and endangering the life of others.