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Legal defeat for France over fishermens' nets.

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Legal defeat for France over fishermens' nets.

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The European Court of Justice has ruled that drift nets used by French fishermen to catch tuna are illegal.

Drift nets were banned in 2002 and the rules were tightened five years later but France contested the definition of drift nets. Paris argued that the small nets used by local fishermen in the Mediterranean were not the same as the ones used on a larger scale in the Pacific, which are sometimes hundreds of kilometers in length. They were banned in the EU because dolphins, turtles and some species of sharks were caught up in the netting which was intended for bluefin tuna fishing. France has now been ordered to enforce the ban on using drift nets of all sizes in its waters.