Dutch use protest song in campaign to undo pulse fishing

Dutch use protest song in campaign to undo pulse fishing
26/04/2019 Douwe Pausma

Geke van der Sloot made a protest song to keep pulse fishing

Urk-Geke van der Sloot, singer, songwriter and director of Geke’s Ten, a well known Dutch children’s choir and singing school was starting the campaign to allow pulse fishing in the European waters. Geke with five of her pupils will be performing at the European Union Headquarters in Strassbourg before the vote regarding a ban on pulse fishing. Geke created a special protest song for Strasbourg which named ‘A Song for the Fishermen’. This song has been translated from Dutch and recorded into English and has already gone viral on social media (Spotify, iTune, Youtube). EU representative Annie Schreijer-Pierik (CDA/ EPPGroup) invited them and a group of pulse fishermen to join the EU before the critical vote.

Geke with her Geke’s Ten and the pulse fishermen are based in Urk, the Dutch fishing community that is most affected by the ban. The fishermen already extensively lobbied with the Dutch government while the Song for the Fishermen could be heard at the Dutch parliament and on television last month.

Last January, an amendment calling for a total ban on the use of electric currents for fishing was passed by MEPs by 402 votes to 232.

However, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) ruled that compared to traditional beam trawling, pulse fishing is better for the ecosystem and the environment.

Since pulse fishery was introduced in 2009, fishing mortality has reduced and stock biomass has increased for flatfish. Research proves that pulse fishing potentially has a valuable role to play in the transition to sustainable fishing in the North Sea.

Geke van der Sloot, five of her pupils and the group of fishermen travel by bus to Strasbourg on 15 April. The performance will take place at noon on April 16. And they have the strong hope to avoid the ban on pulse fishing, so this succesfull fishing method could be continued.