Four super-trawlers are currently fishing off the Sussex coast
SUPERTRAwlers are currently fishing offshore – and a wildlife charity has warned dolphins could be killed.
It is feared that aquatic mammals could end up stranded or caught in the “ridiculously large nets” of the four boats.
A wildlife charity has urged members of the public to report any sightings of dead dolphins washed up on local beaches.
#Supertrawler Alida (99m) still fishing offshore #Sussex & was joined in La Manche today by Le Carolien (126m), currently offshore #Kent. The Scombrus (81m) & Prins Bernhard (88m) also fish in the canal. Please report all #accessory sockets marine mammals at #SussexDolphinProject pic.twitter.com/WAUrjySnuj
– Sussex Dolphin Project 🐬 (@BDP_WCA) November 18, 2021
The Sussex Dolphin Project is concerned about the huge vessels fishing in international waters beyond the UK’s 12-mile territorial limit.
Project manager Thea Taylor said: “We expect to see evidence of their non-specific and unsustainable fishing practices on Sussex beaches soon, so please report any dead dolphins to the Sussex Dolphin Project through our social profiles. or our website.
“Ideally, we would like this to include a clear photograph and the exact location so that our team can come to the site to assess the body.”
The Sussex Dolphin Project, a charity project of the World Cetacean Alliance, was alerted was first alerted to the presence of the Dutch trawler Alida earlier this week.
However, according to the vessel tracking website, MarineTraffic, it has since been joined by three other super trawlers now fishing around the Sussex coast.
The largest vessel is the Dutch factory trawler Carolien, which is 126.22 meters long.
Ms Taylor added: “The Alida is 99 meters long and has been fishing in the area for a week and was joined Thursday in the channel by the Carolien, which is 126 meters long.
“Add to that the Prins Bernhard (88 meters) and the Scombrus (81 meters) which are not that big, but still catch tons of fish a day as well as anything that cannot escape their ridiculously large nets, including including dolphins.
The trawler Alida was last seen fishing in the channel in early October.
The vessel, originally from the Netherlands, is 99.24 meters long and can catch hundreds of tons of fish every day, using nets up to a mile long.
Trawlers are believed to have returned to the channel for the start of the fishing season
Ms Taylor said: “Unfortunately, supertrawlers are going to be a regular feature of the channel off Sussex over the next few months as we are now into midwater freezer trawler season.
“It starts in the fall and continues all winter on the south coast. ”
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