Supertrawlers and fishing boats plundering UK waters targeted in new Operation Enough of the Rhetoric! “| United Kingdom | New
Fishing: the super trawler Margiris crisscrosses the English Channel
Greenpeace launched Operation Ocean Witness to coincide with World Oceans Day today. The six-month project will involve a new Greenpeace vessel called the Sea Beaver, which monitors MPAs off the south coast and does what Greenpeace claims the UK government has not done so far, which is to protect areas UK marine protected from destructive fishing, a key Brexit Promise.
The Oceana lobby group today released data showing that bottom trawlers, which drag huge nets along the seabed, have spent 68,000 hours fishing in UK protected areas created specifically to protect the seabed in 2020.
Greenpeace’s Operation Ocean Witness is committed to documenting and exposing what they call destructive fishing practices.
He will also document the beauty and biodiversity of UK seas and engage with fishing communities along the south coast.
Greenpeace sent a sharp message to Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Greenpeace activists in the English Channel
We’ve heard enough rhetoric, that’s why we’re launching Operation Ocean Witness
Chris Thorne, an ocean activist at Greenpeace UK, said: “Our government is defining itself as a global champion of the oceans while allowing destructive industrial fishing vessels to operate freely in our protected areas.
“We have heard enough rhetoric, which is why we are launching Operation Ocean Witness.
“We will do our government’s job for them, holding the most destructive fishing vessels to account and ensuring that our government cannot hide the destruction taking place in our oceans, which so often remain beyond. off the horizon and out of sight during most publicity. “
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Operation Ocean Witness will last six months
He added: “Our government must keep its Brexit promise to strengthen the protection of the oceans.
“A world-leading network of marine protected areas, where all bottom trawlers and super trawlers are banned, would revive our seas and coastal communities, unify our divided nation and make Britain a true leader in marine protection. “
Melissa Moore, UK Policy Officer at Oceana in Europe, said: “Our analysis of 2020 data released today revealed that there was a sharp increase in fishing with destructive bottom towed gear in marine areas. protected in the UK despite the pandemic.
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Greenpeace activists aboard the Sea Beaver
Sea Beaver will patrol the south coast
“This activity violates wildlife law and must be banned in our protected areas, rather than allowing more than a thousand British and European ships to continue their damaging activities with impunity.
“International commitments are welcome, but must be accompanied by national action. “
Bottom trawlers and destructive superchalts spend thousands of hours each year fishing in areas that are supposed to be protected.
The hours of super-trawl fishing in protected areas have increased considerably each year since 2017.
Greenpeace accuses government of breaking Brexit commitments
Their operations are completely legal. This is all legal, as there are almost no restrictions on industrial fishing in protected areas off the UK’s coast, especially those that protect the seabed, despite the UK government’s commitment to protect these areas.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr in January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to ban what he called “vacuum trawlers” – but has so far failed to deliver on his promise.
As a result, argues Greenpeace, the government has so far failed to deliver on two of its Brexit promises – better marine protection and a better deal for UK fishermen.
Greenpeace calls on the government to ban bottom trawlers and super trawlers from operating in all UK protected areas by restricting the licenses of these vessels to operate in UK waters, as provided for in the new Fisheries Bill 2020 .
Greenpeace wants to monitor marine protected areas
Operation Ocean Witness will operate from Newhaven from June to fall 2021.
A Defra spokesperson said: “The UK is a world leader in protecting our seas, with our ‘blue belt’ of marine protected areas spanning 38% of UK waters.
“We are committed to creating a healthy and sustainable marine environment.
“Now that we have left the EU, the Marine Management Organization is consulting on additional safeguards for four of our valuable marine protected areas, including banning activities that harm wildlife or damage habitats.”