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,
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
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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