Greenpeace Bournemouth Local Group has calculated that supertrawlers spent more than 43 hours fishing in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) off the South West coast of England in 2019. A Greenpeace investigation shows that in total, supertrawlers spent 2963 hours, the equivalent of 123 days, fishing in MPAs off the UK as a whole. Supertrawlers are destructive floating fish factories that can catch and process hundreds of tonnes of fish every day, and are not compatible with healthy oceans.

Hannah Sharland from Greenpeace Bournemouth and Poole Local Group, said: ‘I’m horrified to discover that the protected areas off the South West coast are being exploited by industrial fishing giants, and that this is happening legally. For the UK government to be taken seriously as a leader in marine protection, it must ban supertrawler operations in the UK’s Marine Protected Areas.

Current negotiations with the EU on fishing rights provide the perfect chance to do this. Please support our call to end industrial fishing in MPAs, by signing our petition’ Banning supertrawlers from fishing in MPAs would be a first step towards designating a network of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs), as recommended in the Highly Protected Marine Areas review.

The government must now ensure that the recommendations of the review become a reality, and grow in ambition to ensure that at least 30% of the UK’s waters, and 30% of the world’s oceans, are fully protected by 2030, a scientifically agreed target backed by the UK government.

Hannah added: ‘Greenpeace Bournemouth and Poole Group has been campaigning for several years to protect our oceans. As a coastal city, we know how important our oceans are for food, tourism and tackling climate change. In January, we held a photo exhibition to showcase the beauty of our oceans, and we’ve also dressed up as penguins to call for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, and celebrated World Oceans Day with a blue wave.

On 23rd June, following on from World Oceans Day on 8th June, join us online to watch a documentary ‘Four Corners’, about the Australian campaign to ban supertrawlers.’

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