Last season UK government observers witnessed two vessels, the Ocean Star and Ocean Crest, killing more than 150 dolphins while trawling for sea bass. But the government didn't lift a finger to stop it. So we took our ship, Esperanza, into the English Channel to do something about it. Now we have found them.
Activists attempt to discover if a pair trawler has dead dolphins in its nets. The trawler is trying to hide the content of the nets from view.
The Ocean Star and Ocean Crest are part of a "pair trawling"
fleet fromthe UK and France, which is estimated to kill thousands
of dolphins inthe English Channel every year. Pair trawlers drag a
huge net betweenthem to catch fish like sea bass, but also kill
Our inflatables found the pair trawlers about 30 miles south
ofPlymouth. As soon as we approached, the trawlers stopped fishing
andhauled in their nets. Our campaigner Willie was onboard one of
theinflatables: "As soon as we got between the trawlers they
swiftlystarted moving together - encircling us between them and
their nets! Ofcourse our inflatables are much more manoeuvrable,
and we got away noproblem. The boats then started to haul their
nets - and as soon as onevessel was 'free' from the net it made a
point of continually headingstraight for our inflatables at
"All the time the one boat was
hauling; the other seemed to betrying to stop us getting close to
see the net hauled. Anyone wouldthink they had something to hide -
like all the dolphins they've killedin this fishery over the past
"Immediately the boats steamed off, and it doesn't look
likethey'll start fishing again soon. But we'll keep with them -
safe inthe knowledge that every hour they're not fishing, they're
More from the weblog.
Previously, the Ocean Star and Ocean Crest stopped fishing when
weplaced swimmers in front of the boats and attached large
inflatablebuoys to their net. We are taking action because both the
UK governmentand the European Union (EU) have failed to tackle this
destruction of the dolphin population must stop, and becausethe
governments won't stop it, it's up to us. Otherwise, there's a
veryreal chance that dolphins will disappear altogether from the
Channel,"said Sarah Duthie from onboard the Esperanza.
Government observers on UK sea bass trawlers last year recorded
169dolphins killed in the huge nets. Government figures estimate
that theUK fleet alone was responsible for the deaths of 439
dolphins lastyear. The UK and French fleets combined could be
killing over 2000dolphins a year.
We want the UK government to investigate which other fishing
methodsare also killing dolphins and porpoises and take action.
Worldwide, theunintentional capture in fishing nets of dolphins,
porpoises and othermarine species is a major problem. It is
estimated to kill some 300,000whales, dolphins, and porpoises a
year. Overall it has been estimatedthat 23 percent of the global
fisheries catch is thrown back dead.
Tell the new EU Fisheries Commissioner, Joe Borg, that you
want pair trawling for bass banned!
Read the updates from the
crew taking action for dolphin protection.
of dolphins and our actions to defend them.