EU Parliament calls for ban on electric pulse fishing

The European Union's legislature is calling for a ban on electric pulse fishing, seen by some as a cruel way to kill fish.

The trading bloc's parliament voted by a 402-to-232 margin with 40 abstentions on Tuesday. However, it is unclear whether such a ban can be enacted because member states also need to approve it. The legislature will start negotiations with member countries to see whether the ban can be pushed through.

Some fear pulse fishing, which works by startling fish from the seabed so they can be easily scooped up in nets, could be destructive for the seabed and stocks. Others said that small fisheries would suffer.

The Netherlands, which has several boats fishing for flatfish with the practice, said it was "incomprehensible" that the EU parliament would ban it.