European super-trawler triggers Greenpeace fury after entering UK conservation zone

Daily Express :: UK Feed

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The Marine Conservation Zone, Offshore Overfalls, protects the sandy seabed in the English Channel area and is an important habitat for endangered species, specifically the undulated ray. Greenpeace claimed UK law enforcement boarded the Margiris soon after arriving in the English Channel, but found no evidence of illegal activity. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) website, the Conservation Zone is “processing towards being well managed”, meaning that is it “unlikely to be moving towards its conservation objectives”.

The website also states that “progress is ongoing with regards to the recommendation of a fisheries management proposal to the European Commission.”

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Greenpeace UK claimed these statements mean “various types of fishing effort, including the trawling method employed by the Margiris and other industrial trawlers, are permitted.”

Chris Thorne, an Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “This highlights the UK government’s laissez-faire attitude towards ocean protection, and its continued preference for paper parks that are little more than lines on a map, failing to properly protect Britain’s spectacular marine life.

“Just 7 km2 of UK waters are fully protected marine areas, the most effective tool for ocean protection and increasing resilience to climate change.

READ MORE: European super trawler a threat to UK fishing warns MEP

“Our government speaks well about ocean protection, but these are empty words until it takes serious action to replace the broken network of paper parks, which allow super-trawlers like Margiris to fish in supposedly protected areas right on our doorstep.”

Marine Traffic data collected by Greenpeace UK also showed the Margiris spend a significant amount of time fishing in the zone.

The owners of Margiris have reportedly claimed there was zero by-catch.

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The Dutch-owned Margiris which sails under a Lithuanian flag has a net 1,950ft in length and 650ft wide which has the potential to catch large fish such as dolphins and endangered bluefin tuna, even if not intended.

Brexit Party MEP June Mummery fears the giant vessel, which is seeking mackerel and herring, will leave scant supply for smaller boats. The Brexit Party MEP for East of England told Express.co.uk: “It is huge, it’s a monster. It was banned from Australia and was boarded by Greenpeace activists in Chile. But she’s here and she’s here legally because of the CFP.

“The Margiris carries 6,200 tonnes of cargo and can process 250,000 tonnes of fish per day. They are looking after themselves, the Dutch. It’s only 14 miles off the Sussex coast – that’s unbelievable! It’s not sustainable fishing, they’re going to take it all, all the plankton.

“Their aim is to catch mackerel and herring but the other fish that they catch are dolphins, bluefin tuna, sea bass and John Dory. Local fishermen are banned from catching sea bass.”

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If Boris Johnson takes the UK out of the bloc without a deal it would mean fishermen would be released from the policy and a news system would be ushered in.

In an address to the European Parliament earlier in October, Ms Mummery demanded the EU address the concerns of small-scale fishermen in the UK when it comes to the Margiris.

She said: “This super trawler is known to have horrific by catch rates which endangers species such as bluefin tuna, John Dory and common dolphins in that area.

“Can you also tell me when the EU will learn that this type of fishing – factory ship – is not the way forward and start taking the environmentally-friendly small scale fishing fleet more seriously?”

Express.co.uk has contacted the owners of Margiris for comment.

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European super-trawler sparks fury after entering UK conservation zone

The Marine Conservation Zone, Offshore Overfalls, protects the sandy seabed in the English Channel area and is an important habitat for endangered species, specifically the undulated ray. Greenpeace claimed UK law enforcement boarded the Margiris soon after arriving in the English Channel, but found no evidence of illegal activity.

The Marine Conservation Zone, Offshore Overfalls, protects the sandy seabed in the English Channel area and is an important habitat for endangered species, specifically the undulated ray. Greenpeace claimed UK law enforcement boarded the Margiris soon after arriving in the English Channel, but found no evidence of illegal activity.

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1 thought on “European super-trawler triggers Greenpeace fury after entering UK conservation zone

  1. Boris send the navy to protect our water all deals are off until we have an election. No one is allowed near are waters.

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