Dakar - Greenpeace currently blocks the super trawler Margiris in the Dutch port of IJmuiden, to prevent the ship leaving for Australia to empty vulnerable fishing grounds. Activists have put a chain around the screw and two climbers hang at the lines of the ship to the quay. Greenpeace is protesting against the overfishing caused by Europe’s oversized fishing fleet and is demanding that action is taken to cut overcapacity.
European ships like this 142-meter Margiris can haul such huge quantities of fish that they can no longer fish enough in European waters. To cover the cost of these super trawlers they desperately seek new fishing grounds. As a result, the Margiris and her sister ships have already contributed to the overexploitation of fish stocks in West Africa and the South Pacific.
"These kind of giant trawlers leave a trail of destruction all over the world," says campaign leader Pavel Klinckhamers. Even the European Commission argues that the fisheries ministers up to now fail to reduce the European fleet. Klinckhamers: "In the latest plans of European fisheries Ministers overfishing is again insufficiently solved in the coming years. And nothing is done to prevent that the overcapacity is displaced outside Europe. The fleet can just go fishing 'down under'."
Margiris is one of the 71 vessels that Greenpeace confronted off the west african coasts in April this year. Greenpeace activists had a direct action against this super trawler as part of our campaign to end overfishing in West Africa seas (1).
This year, the European fisheries policy is reformed. That happens once every ten years. With the blockade of the Margiris Greenpeace wants to pressure outgoing Secretary Henk Bleker and his European colleagues to really solve the overcapacity problem.
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