Fears for wildlife after supertrawler was spotted on the Sussex coast
There are concerns for wildlife after a super trawler was spotted off the Sussex coast.
The Sussex Dolphin Project, a charity project of the World Cetacean Alliance, was alerted to the presence of the super trawler Alida in the channel after it began to travel west from Kent.
The ship, originally from the Netherlands, is 99.24 meters long and can catch hundreds of tons of fish every day, using nets up to a mile long.
The Alida is currently fishing in international waters – beyond the UK’s 12-mile territorial sea limit.
The trawler is believed to have returned to the channel for the start of the fishing season.
Thea Taylor, Head of the Sussex Dolphin Project, said: “This is the start of the 2021 Channel Supertrawler season.
“Although they fish year round, and across the planet, many of these 100m vessels target the English Channel during the fall and winter months.”
Project data shows that 87% of the 23 strandings between September 2019 and December 21, 2020 occurred when super trawlers were in the area.
Thea said: “This large-scale, large-scale fishing can lead to the collapse of fish populations and also harm other marine species through bycatch, including sharks, rays, whales, fish. porpoises and dolphins.
“This is not only an ecological disaster when it comes to marine life, but also endangers our local fishing community, which uses sustainable practices.
“We have experienced heartbreaking scenes of dolphin and porpoise bycatch on Sussex beaches throughout the 2020 Channel Supertrawler season and we expect this pattern to repeat itself in 2021.
“Please report stranded marine mammals to the Sussex Dolphin Project.”
The Maritime Management Organization is responsible for the oversight of maritime activities.
A spokesperson said: “The business of the super trawlers is managed in the same way as all fishing vessels.
“The Marine Management Organization closely monitors vessels, including large trawlers, when they fish in English waters. ”
Environmentalists at Greenpeace and Oceana are calling on ministers to pledge to urgently ban bottom trawling in UK marine protected areas (MPAs).
Campaigners have warned that the fishing method, in which weighted nets are dragged across the seabed to catch fish, destroys important wildlife habitat on the seabed and releases carbon stored there.
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