September 27, 2022

Environmental campaigners say the boulders will make it not possible for fishing gear to be dragged alongside the seabed.

Greenpeace UK has dropped 18 massive boulders on the seabed in a marine conservation zone off the coast of southwest England to stop “harmful” industrial fishing.

The environmental campaigners sailed to the western a part of the English Channel between the UK and France, loaded with the boulders of Portland limestone, every weighing between 500 and 1,400kg (1,100 and three,100 kilos).

The large rocks had been dropped on Thursday from its Arctic Dawn analysis vessel in an space of the South West Deeps (East) Conservation Zone, which lies about 190 kilometres (120 miles) off Land’s Finish, essentially the most westerly level of mainland England.

Greenpeace stated on Friday that the boulders will make it not possible for bottom-towed fishing gear to be dragged alongside the seabed and devastate marine life there.

Artists created a large ammonite sculpture – impressed by the fossil usually present in Portland limestone – out of one of many boulders, which was additionally positioned on the seabed.

Giant limestone boulders
The boulders are ready earlier than being dropped into the ocean [File: Quentin Tyberghien/AFP]

“Proper now, there’s an industrial fishing frenzy occurring in UK waters, and what’s our authorities doing about it?” requested Greenpeace UK’s head of oceans, Will McCallum.

“Greenpeace UK has created this underwater boulder barrier as a final resort to guard the oceans. We’d a lot moderately the federal government simply did their job.”

McCallum stated it was “outrageous” that bottom-trawlers are allowed to function on the seabed in protected areas.

“They destroy large swathes of the marine ecosystem and make a mockery of our so-called ‘safety’,” he added.

The motion comes after the newest spherical of UN talks to attempt to safe safety for marine life in worldwide waters broke up with out an settlement.

The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise
The boulders will make fishing gear not possible to pull alongside the seabed [File: Quentin Tyberghien/AFP]

Greenpeace stated the 4,600-square-kilometre (1,776-square-mile) South West Deeps is “some of the closely fished so-called Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the UK”.

It cited figures from the International Fishing Watch monitoring company that stated that 110 vessels – greater than half of them from France – fished for 18,928 hours within the space within the 18 months to July.

Of that, industrial vessels with bottom-towed fishing gear spent 3,376 hours fishing within the zone.

Neil Whitney, a fisherman from East Sussex in southern England, stated bottom-trawling was “like ploughing a mix harvester by way of a nationwide park”.

“They’re capable of take out total ecosystems, and in the event that they trigger a fishery to break down, they simply transfer on to the subsequent one,” he added.

“Industrial fishing, like fly-shooters [vessels which tow lead-weighted ropes along the seabed] and super-trawlers [trawlers more than 100 metres long or 328 feet]are killing our marine surroundings, and small-scale UK fishermen like me are dropping out massive time,” Whitney stated.

He stated it was “absurd” that bottom-trawling was authorized in MPAs.

“MPAs are presupposed to be the areas the place fish shares can get better in order that we fish for generations to return. It’s a case of widespread sense,” Whitney added.

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