MCA takes action in dispute between trawlers and Greenpeace – Fishupdate.com

MCA takes action in dispute between trawlers and Greenpeace Published:  18 March, 2005

The MCA has today taken action in the dispute between UK-registered

trawlers and a Greenpeace vessel following the protests by Greenpeace

against the indiscriminate catching of dolphins while the fishing

vessels were trawling for bass off the Cornish coast.

Letters have been issued to all the vessels involved, including the

UK-registered fishing vessels `Ocean Crest’; `Ocean Dawn’; `Ocean

Star’; and `Sunrise’ and Greenpeace’s Dutch-registered vessel

‘Esperanza’, reminding them of the importance of keeping the safety

of both personnel and vessels, and the prevention of pollution,

paramount.

They have been further reminded of the requirements of the

International Regulations for Prevention of Collision, and the

International Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by

Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter.

The current action between UK registered trawlers and the Dutch

registered Greenpeace vessel and operatives in the Western approaches

is outside the United Kingdom’s territorial water limit, but falls

within both the UK Search and Rescue region and the UK Pollution

Control Zone.

The Agency says it has taken this action at the stage where the lives of both protestors and fishermen have been endangered, collision regulations have been given low priority, international distress signals have been misused, and metallic buoys with hazardous chains and grapnel hooks have been dumped at sea.

There is also now, it says, a distinct potential for serious pollution should a vessel not involved in the fishing/ protesting run into the dropped buoys, or find that the collision regulations are not being strictly observed by the fishing vessels or Greenpeace vessels.

*Greenpeace activists dumped two dead dolphins on the steps of the French Embassy in London yesterday to protest French fishing practises.

The group says the practice of pair-trawling – in which two boats drag nets between them – kills up to 2,000 dolphins every year. A spokesman for Greenpeace said the dead dolphins were recovered in the English Channel by the Esperanza. Sixteen French pair-trawlers were operating within a 12-mile radius of where the bodies were discovered, he added.

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