EU industrial ships spent 32,000 hours plundering UK waters in 2020, study finds | United Kingdom | New
And Greenpeace activists have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to honor his government’s commitment to be a “world leader” in marine protection following their shocking research. The Greenpeace investigation found that vessels licensed for industrial fly shooting, a high-intensity fishing method that disrupts the seabed, spent the equivalent of nearly four years operating in UK waters. last year.
About 16,000 hours were spent in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), specially designated conservation regions.
A total of 75 industrial fishing vessels – 60 of which are EU-flagged – have been allowed to fly in UK waters without a full assessment of the environmental or economic impact of this fishing method by the UK government.
Greenpeace will be joined next week by fishermen as they travel up the Thames to Parliament to protest the government’s failure to protect our oceans and our fishing communities.
Industrial fly shooting is estimated to be up to 11 times more efficient than traditional coastal trawling and involves dragging heavy gear along the seabed.
Data on fishing hours is only available for 40 of the 75 industrial fly shooters, which means that Greenpeace’s analysis actually underestimates the total fishing time of the fleet.
Greenpeace last week declared a state of emergency in the English Channel and the southern North Sea, where the new fleet of fly-shooters has concentrated its operations.
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Mr Thorne added, “Our government likes to boast of being a world leader in marine protection and has admirably supported calls to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. However, closer to home, almost it all happens in British waters.
“We stand in solidarity with fishermen whose livelihoods are threatened due to our government’s inability to protect our waters from industrial fishing.
“Next week, with the fishermen, we will sail to Parliament to make it clear that enough is enough.
“Our oceans and our fishing communities are in urgent need of protection.”
Greenpeace UK investigators used data from Global Fishing Watch to assess how long vessels licensed for industrial fly shooting spent fishing in UK waters, and to estimate how much time they spent in protected areas.
In July, Green MP Caroline Lucas joined a patrol of Greenpeace Operation Ocean Witness in July.
During her trip, she saw Larche, a French flag fly shooter, operating in the protected area of Bassurelle Sandbank.
Ms Lucas held a banner saying “This is a marine protected area” in front of Larche, who, after radio contact with Greenpeace activists, carried her equipment and left the protected area. “
A Defra spokesperson said: ‘Protecting our vital fish stocks and those who depend on them is paramount, which is why all EU vessels licensed to fish in UK waters must comply with the rules. and UK regulations, including those on sustainability.
“We have heard the concerns about the pressure from fishing in the Channel and we are keen to work with the industry to resolve the issues. We have already stopped pulse trawling by EU and English registered vessels in UK waters and now that we have left the EU the MMO is consulting on additional safeguards for our marine protected areas.
“Any decision regarding fisheries management in the future will be based on the best available evidence. “