Remove yourself from the situation! Three ‘illegal and dangerous’ French ships have been caught raiding British seas.
Greenpeace has discovered that three French fishing vessels were captured raiding UK fish stocks in waters designated as conservation areas.
As part of Operation Witness, a continuing effort to challenge ships operating in specially designated Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the UK coast, the environmental pressure group confronted two of the ships. Activists on Greenpeace’s ship, Sea Beaver, contacted the French-flagged bottom trawlers VF Atlas, which was working in the Offshore Brighton MPA, and Glorieuse Immaculee, which was operating in the Offshore Overfalls and Bassurella Sandbank MPAs, and they agreed to halt.
Bottom trawling is a kind of fishing in which a large net is dragged around the seabed, causing severe damage to the underwater environment, according to critics.
The crews of both ships stated that they were unaware of the MPAs’ existence.
Furthermore, the Glorieuse Immaculee had been sailing with its AIS satellite tracking turned off, which is illegal under maritime law and poses a danger to other mariners.
Greenpeace recorded and reported 11 AIS-equipped vessels fishing off the Dogger Bank last year.
“Not only do we keep catching aggressive fishing vessels harming our protected areas, but we also keep catching them fishing with their satellite monitoring systems turned off,” said Fiona Nicholls, a Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner.
“This is against the law and unsafe to other seafarers.
It’s like driving at night on the highway with your headlights turned off.
Fiona Nicholls discusses the dangers of disabling AIS satellite tracking.
“It’s like driving down the highway at night with your lights off,” she says, “but nothing was done when we reported it to the authorities.”
“Our government claims to be a world leader in marine protection, yet it can’t even enforce international maritime law in its own waters,” Ms Nicholls added.
“It continues to allow disruptive vessels to cause thousands of hours of damage to our protected areas each year, and it continues to fail our fishing communities.
“To improve ocean conservation, we need to ban bottom trawlers and supertrawlers from all of our protected zones.
Greenpeace protested the Tourmalet, a French-flagged industrial fly-fishing vessel that had been fishing in the Offshore Overfalls and Bassurelle Sandbank.
Fly shooting is a damaging type of fishing that has recently resurfaced in UK waters.
“Brinkwire Summary News” protects the Offshore Brighton, Offshore Overfalls, and Bassurelle Sandbank.