NGOs call on Macron to protect more sea ahead of COP 15

Published on December 8, 2022

Three days before the opening of COP15, the 15th meeting of the UN Convention on Biological
Diversity, several NGOs published an open letter in the french paper Le Monde calling on president Emmanuel Macron to send a message to the world that France is serious when it comes to protecting its marine areas.

In the letter, the NGO´s explains the serious state of the marine areas around the french coast where more than 90% of large fish, like swordfish, tuna, groupers, rays, and sharks have disappeared since the 1950s and fish over four kilograms have declined by more than 97% since the pre-industrial era, due to lack of protection and the use of destructive fishing methods.

The NGOs remind mr Macron of his promise made in Brest in February 2022 to implement the European objective to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030, a third of under “strict protection”.

Today in France, the protected marine areas are not protected at all since it is possible to fish in these areas with high-impact industrial gear. Truly protected areas prohibiting industrial activities represent only 0.005% of the English Channel, North Sea and Atlantic coastline and 0.094% of Mediterranean coastline. France is the first European maritime power and the second in the world in terms of the size of our exclusive economic zone and such a low ratio is a disgrace for France, writes the NGOs.

In the open letter the NGOs demands that France should be exemplary in terms of marine protection and ask Mr Macron that “protect” shall mean “to shelter, defend and safeguard” and not “trawl, extract and exploit”.