"The West African states must follow the example of the Australian Government and categorically refuse to accept such vessel which sole aim is to empty the Oceans, and at such putting at risk food security and livelihoods of local communities. Over 100,000 Australians yesterday said ‘no supertrawlers, and the Margiris should know that it is not welcome anywhere where it intends to steal,' said Ahmed Diame, Greenpeace Africa Oceans campaigner.
"Australia does not want Margiris, the West African coast also do not. Margiris must go for scrap!" added Diamé.
With its 142 m long, the FV Margiris, Lithuanian flag, travels the world's oceans in search of fishing grounds including West Africa. Before going to Australia, the ship had been operating in the Mauritanian waters, within the last fishing Partnership Agreement (which expired on 31 July 2012) between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
According to the UN, the global industrial fishing fleet is 2.5 times too big for fish stocks to sustain. Despite this, the fishing companies receive huge subsidies to modernize and strengthen their industrial fleet, to the detriment of the oceans and local communities.
Greenpeace is campaigning globally to cut back the world’s oversized, subsidised industrial fishing fleet starting with the vessels that contribute most to stock depletion and damage to the wider marine environment, and least to social, economic and cultural fabric of coastal communities.
Greenpeace is calling on West African governments to follow scientific advice on fish stocks in the region and not to allow access to their waters to such floating monster.
“We cannot continue to allow these industrial fishing fleets to plunder our waters at the expense of West African’s lives, economies and the future. This has to stop, and it is has stop now, concluded Diame.
Ahmed DIAME, Oceans campaigner Greenpeace Africa Email: ; Telephone: +221773328993
Bakary Coulibaly, communications officer Oceans campaign, Greenpeace Africa, Email: ; Telephone: +221773336265
Notes to Editors: