BAN SUPERTRAWLERS – Campaigners slam the UK Government over fishing rights saying “its a free for all” in UK waters.

Greenpeace has warned that Britain’s waterways have become a “free for all” as French and Dutch ships continue to pillage the UK’s waters after Brexit. 

Despite the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU, EU ships continue to plunder the rich fishing waters off the coast of the United Kingdom. 

Greenpeace Oceans campaigner Fiona Nicholls told Express that the UK must outlaw supertrawlers and fly-shooter vessels. 

She stated, “It’s free for all. It really is. 

“The Government is not doing everything they can do.” 

Because they have the capacity to do so, they can use the powers in the Fisheries Act to restrict licencing and put an immediate ban on supertrawlers and fly-shooters. 

“They totally have the power to do that now.” 

Ms Nicholls, a participant in Greenpeace’s Ocean Witness Campaign, claimed that the fishermen who voted for Brexit were “sold down the river.” 

“They really have been sold down the river.”

“That’s why I just find it so frustrating because they really believe in democracy,” when I talk to them. “And they just feel like the Government is selling them out because they have seen nothing change.”

However, notwithstanding the remarks of Ms Nicholls, the Government now has the right to govern its waters following the withdrawal from the EU. 

This past year, the Fisheries Act was introduced in Westminster and signed into law by the British Government in November 2020. 

There is a purpose of sustainability underpinning this legislation, which regulates foreign vessel licence holders who fish in UK seas. 

Environment Secretary George Eustice commented on the act, saying: “This is a huge moment for the UK fishing industry. 

“This is the first domestic fisheries legislation in nearly 40 years, and we will now take back control of our waters out to 200 nautical miles or the median line.” 

The Fisheries Act clarifies that we intend to continue to function as a leading, responsible, and independent coastal state on the international stage. “We will protect our precious marine environment whilst ensuring a fairer share of fishing opportunities for UK fishermen.”

“By swiftly responding to the latest scientific advice and needs of our fishing industries, we will secure a thriving future for our coastal communities.” 

The act also grants the United Kingdom the authority to implement new measures to safeguard marine protected zones (MPAs) around the country. 

Although this is the case, some environmentalists have argued that the UK has failed to preserve MPAs because of the presence of supertrawlers in the area.