MPs sign a cross party letter in an effort to ban super trawlers from fishing in Britains Marine Preservation Areas

The report comes after 57 MPs from all significant parties set their names to the letter calling for the authorities to enforce a ban on the huge vessels entering the zones, also called Marine Preservation Areas (MPAs) after Britain severs ties with the EU at the end of the year.

he analysis, undertaken by the environmental pressure group Greenpeace, demonstrated that while ships such as the Dutch-flagged Margiris, as well as various Russian craft, spent 2963 hours fishing in 39 protected regions, in the first six weeks of 2020, supertrawlers had spent 5590 hours fishing at 19 safe areas. In general, 23 supertrawlers happen to be operating in UK waters so much this year – but not one of the ships in question is UK-owned, though some are registered here.

Chris Thorne, an Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Our Government cannot continue to permit super trawlers to fish together with ever-increasing intensity in parts of our oceans that are supposed to be protected.”
“It must step in and put a stop to industrial supertrawler operations within our overseas marine protected areas, something that is possible after Britain renders the Common Fisheries Policy.”
“Industrial fishing operations don’t have any place within our protected areas.”


Mr Thorne added: “At least 30 percent of the UK’s waters must be off-limits to all industrial fishing activity at a community of fully or highly protected marine areas.”
“A great start towards achieving this is to prohibit super trawlers from fishing at our protected areas for thousands of hours every year.”
While MPAs exist in concept, a Greenpeace spokesman said in practice there was no enforcement and no penalties for anyone fishing there. A YouGov survey of 1,664 UK voters completed in June signalled 81 percent of them endorsed the idea of banning supertrawlers from MPAs.
Tory MP for North Thanet Sir Roger Gale that had been one of the signatories of the letter stated: “We have this ridiculous situation where we have these secure zones around our coast, but we are not protecting them from the predations of all supertrawlers.”
It is as straightforward as that – there is not any point having shielded zones if you do not shield them.
“I think we must start taking a firm grip with this today, irrespective of any agreement which may be reached on fishing. A number of these zones are in our waters, and these boats come from around – Russia, the Netherlands – and they are essentially floating fish factories.”
“We are attempting to protect these zones with very good reason, to protect the stocks also to protect endangered marine species.”
“Yet we seem to be prepared to allow the world and his brother come to hoover up everything in sight.”
Luke Pollard MP, Shadow Environment Secretary, responding to the Greenpeace report on supertrawlers saying: “The Government should step up to correctly protect the very sensitive areas of British waters industrial-scale trial scale plunder that’s destroying precious biodiversity.
“Labour wishes to prevent super trawlers fishing in UK protected areas. And we are campaigning for more tasks in our fishing areas, by pushing more of the fish captured in British waters to be obtained in UK ports.”
Former UKIP MEP Mike Hookem in an op-ed with the Express wrote: “These flying fish factories capture tens of thousands of tons of fish a day.”
The advantage of the fishing has knock-on effects on the broader marine ecosystem. It gives fish populations little room to recover and grow.
“harms not only our waters but also the coastal communities who rely on a wholesome fish population for their livelihood.”

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