According to Greenpeace (Photo: PA), fishing in the supervised fishing installation is harmful to fish stocks.
Destructive fishing by supertrawlers in British waters could lead to a sharp increase in dolphin mortality, according to environmentalists.
As Greenpeace fears that vessels over 100 metres in length could damage fish stocks, it should be prohibited to enter Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
The organisation has published the results of a study showing that by 2019 25 supertrawlers, none of them British, fished nearly 3,000 hours in these areas.
Among the ships that suck up an enormous amount of fish every day is the Dutch Margiris, a 142 meter long giant that became famous after he was banned from Australian waters. Concerns were expressed in October when a ship was sighted off the south coast of England.
MPAs protect important marine ecosystems and species, including porpoises and reefs.
One of the areas most intensively fished by the supercrowlers in 2019 was the southern North Sea area off the east coast of England, which was constructed to protect bottlenose dolphins.
said Chris Thorne, a naval activist at Greenpeace in the UK: Our government, which allows destructive supertrawlers to fish thousands of hours a year in marine protected areas, doesn’t care about the word protected.
Even an hour of super-trawling in an ecologically sensitive marine environment is too much, if not almost 3000.
Greenpeace diagram showing the activities of the supertrawler Margiris in the British marine protected areas (Photo: PA).
If our government is to be taken seriously as a pioneer in protecting the marine environment, it must ban the use of supertrawlers in Britain’s marine protected areas.
Will my government listen to the recommendations of the Highly Protected Sea Area Review and seize the historic opportunity offered by brexite to repair the broken network of marine protected areas in the UK, or will it allow the false status quo to continue?
A Defra spokesman said Britain is leading the battle to protect our seas with its protected blue belt waters, which are almost twice the size of the British.
The general fisheries policy currently limits our ability to provide better protection, but if we leave the EU and regain control of our waters as an independent coastal state, we can introduce stricter measures.
Boats like the Margiris can be more than 100 meters long and suck up an enormous amount of fish every day (Photo: PA).
Researchers from Greenpeace have used Lloyd’s Register AIS tracking data for all fishing vessels over 100 m in length to estimate the time spent by fishing vessels in MPAs in the United Kingdom. AIS tracking data is available on request.
In 2019, supertrawlers fished a total of 2,963 hours in the UK’s marine protected areas (123 days), according to Greenpeace.
MPA, where super-navigators have been fishing for most of the past year: The Wyville Thomson Ridge (Shetland), the Gayky Slide and the Hebrides Slope (Hebrides), the offshore waterfalls (south coast), the Faroese Shetland Sponge Belt (Shetland), the Darwin Mounds (Hebrides) and the southern North Sea (East Anglia).
Wyville’s Thomson Ridge was most affected by the MPA, where super bowlers went fishing for over 2,000 hours.
Read more: Environment
According to Greenpeace, this is due to the concentration of the Russian supertrawler fleet in this region.
Today, the organization launched a petition calling on the government to ban gigantic ships from the MPA.
It calls on legislators to use their newly acquired powers after Braxit to end supertrawler fishing in the MPAs.
For more information or to sign a petition, click here.
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