Extinction Rebellion organizes protest in Dublin to fight against fishing laws causing “grave danger”
Extinction Rebellion has taken to the streets of Dublin to protest Irish fishing laws which put the nation in “serious danger”.
Together with the Irish Wildlife Trust and Sea Change, they dragged a trawler from Parnell Square to Leinster House to highlight the countless sea creatures that are needlessly dying due to current fishing practices.
They held a “Parade of the Dead” and activists wore skeletal fish masks and stark black and white costumes, pulled a bottom trawler boat and dragged large commercial fishing nets.
Activists from Extinction Rebellion Ireland have said the relentless destruction of the sea poses serious threats to ocean biodiversity, ecosystems and all life on Earth.
Currently, the destruction caused by bottom trawling is hidden from the general public because it takes place at sea.
An XR spokesperson said: “Bottom trawling scrapes a net on the seabed, erases important habitat for spawning fish and should be banned. Once destroyed, these ancient and ecologically vital communities can take decades or more to recover.
“The consequences of reckless bottom trawling practices, illegal fishing and bycatch impacts on the Irish coast are having an unprecedented damaging effect on our marine ecosystem and undermining our government’s efforts to meet ocean and climate goals sailors. “
IWT Campaigns Manager Pádraic Fogarty added: “It is no exaggeration to say that the ocean is on a razor’s edge, but authorities have yet to realize the threat this poses to us. .
“Recovery is always possible and science shows that the best thing to do is leave her alone. It shouldn’t be that difficult but yet nothing is being done and that needs to change.
Bottom trawling involves casting a big night and dragging it across the ocean floor to maximize the catch.
The elimination of bycatch throughout this process is highlighted as a highly negative practice, with the catch being discarded into the ocean after death.
Many of these creatures are endangered species, such as stingrays, rays and some species of sharks, all of which are threatened with extinction.
In Irish waters, such practices continue without oversight or enforcement.
Ireland has even been accused by the European Commission of “serious and significant weaknesses” in the control of fishing activity with a lack of enforcement and “effective” sanctions.
This includes several different species of fish and birds.
As part of the protest, Extinction Rebellion Ireland made the following six urgent requests to the Irish government:
1. Increase Ireland’s marine protected areas by at least 30% by 2030.
2. End bottom trawling as a method of fishing in Irish waters.
3. Put in place on-board surveillance cameras and tightened control of police and weight gain in Irish ports.
4. Allocate more resources to fight illegal fishing.
5. A just transition for those employed in the fishing industry, supporting the transition to more sustainable fishing methods.
6. Charlie McConalogue, Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Navy, takes immediate action to reinstate the ban on large trawlers in Ireland’s six nautical mile zone, in line with the government’s pledge to do so .
A recent groundbreaking study published in the journal Nature found that bottom trawling releases up to a gigaton of carbon from the seabed each year.
This is the equivalent of what the aviation industry is pumping, making industrial trawling one of the main culprits in the climate crisis.
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