Germany: Greenpeace stops pirate fishing vessels in European port – Fishupdate.com

Germany: Greenpeace stops pirate fishing vessels in European port Published:  13 March, 2006

GREENPEACE activists used chains and oil drums to prevent four pirate fishing trawlers from leaving Rostock harbour on Saturday. One vessel was chained to the harbour wall and hung with a banner reading ‘Stop pirate fishing’. A fifth trawler left Rostock last night – all five are allegedly on the EU blacklist for having been engaged in illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing – also know as pirate fishing – in the Atlantic. All have allegedly recently changed names and flags and were trying to leave port to plunder the high seas again.

“The fact that the German government allows known pirate fishing vessels to set sail is incredible,” Andrea Cederquist, marine biologist at Greenpeace Germany said. “Knowing these ships are leaving port without making sure they will keep to international fishery agreements in future is unacceptable.” Pirate fishing vessels are an enormous problem, particularly on the high seas and in the coastal waters of developing countries. There they steal fish – often the staple food – from some of the poorest countries in the world and destroy the livelihoods of fishermen who live there.”

Pirate fisheries are estimated to cost countries between 3.4 and 7.6 billion euros each year. They also wipe out the unknown worlds of the deep-sea. Many pirate vessels are allegedly engaged in a fishing technique called high seas bottom trawling which is known to cause huge destruction to vulnerable deep-sea marine life such as coldwater corals

On December 19th, 2005, Greenpeace called on the German Government to chain up the Rostock pirate fishing vessels. The ships were then called the Oyra, Ostroe, Okhotino, Olchan and Ostrovets. In 2005, they were allegedly involved in the collapse of the redfish stocks of the North Atlantic. Now their owners have changed the ships’ registrations and they’re called Eva, Junita, Rosita, Isabella and Carmen, and are registered to a new flag state: Georgia. According to information obtained by Greenpeace, the trawlers have set their sights on either plundering the rich fishing waters off the coast of West Africa (Mauritania) or going farther a field to trawl the depths of the Pacific. Both are regions were proper controls are lacking and pirate fishing is flourishing.

Over the next few months, in partnership with the Environmental Justice Foundation, the Greenpeace ship Esperanza will expose how fishing pirates in the Atlantic are wiping out marine life and destroying the livelihoods of the communities dependent on our oceans for food. The tour is part of the year-long ‘Defending Our Oceans Expedition’ to highlight the threats to the oceans and demand that 40% be declared no-take marine reserves, to safeguard marine life.

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