Fishing Tackle Trade Association Press

Proposal under way to phase
out lead by 2015. Jan Kappel reports…

The European Parliament is seeking to ban the use of lead in
recreational fishing equipment by 2015, writes EFTTA lobbyist Jan

On 22 May, the Parliament voted to
substantially increase an existing list of toxic substances governed by
EU laws on water quality.

Parliament also voted
to upgrade a number of these substances to a higher category of
toxicity, which would require member states to phase-out their use of
lead entirely by 2015.

The move is a step
backwards from July last year, when the EU Commission did not include
lead in its new measures for dealing with ‘priority’ and ‘priority
hazardous’ substances.

But the European
Parliament now wants to see a change to that. The Parliament suggests
lead and a number of other substances to be ‘subject to a review for
identification as a possible “priority hazardous substance”’.

EFTTA lobbyist, Jan Kappel, said: “The Commission is
requested to make a proposal to the Parliament and the Council for its
final classification. If the Council agrees fully with the Parliament
then EU Member States will be required to phase-out the use of lead
entirely by 2015.

“The Commission is fully aware
that lead disposal from angling is very, very small compared to the
total of lead waste. And the Commission is fully aware that the
relatively small amount of lost lead sinkers don’t present much of a
‘hazardous’ to the environment. But this is politics.”

Anyone who wants to avoid a ban of lead in angling
tackle should talk to their national environment ministry and minister.
But members of the EU Committee on Fisheries are all in favour of a

They agreed: ‘Lead, used in fishing
equipment for both recreational and professional fisheries, is a source
of water pollution. In order to reduce the level of lead in fishing
waters, Member States should encourage the fishing sector to replace
lead by less hazardous alternatives.’

Added Jan
Kappel: “Most likely it would be a waste of time – and too late – to
try and educate the MEPs on this highly emotional issue.”

The Council will vote on the Parliament’s first
reading in a forthcoming meeting.

Janet Doyle,
EFTTA General Manager, said that EFTTA encourages members to consider
the use of lead alternatives but warned that an EU-wide ban would
translate into costs in production, operations and administration for
its members.