The needless destruction of the high seas was exposed by
Greenpeace this morning, after documenting a EU bottom trawler
operating in the North Atlantic.
Meanwhile at the UN in New York, diplomats are talking about the
protection of marine life in these international waters. A
resolution on the issue is due to be tabled in early November.
While scientists and environmentalists are calling for an
immediate moratorium on high seas bottom trawling, the EU continues
to defy science and logic by not only supporting a practise that is
the most destructive for deep sea life but also effectively
blocking international progress towards protecting deep sea
A team from the Greenpeace ship MV Esperanza documented a
Spanish flagged bottom-trawler, the Ivan Nores, in the Hatton Bank
area of the North Atlantic 410 miles north-west of Ireland.
"Bycatch" destroyed by the bottom trawling nets included squid,
rays, dogfish, starfish and crustaceans. Fish caught included
roundnose grenadier and Baird's smoothead, which are extremely
vulnerable to fishing pressure.
Bottom-trawling boats, in the majority from EU countries, drag
fishing gear weighing several tonnes across the sea bed, destroying
everything in their path including marine wildlife such as coral
and devastating life on underwater mountains - or 'seamounts'.
Maria Jose Caballero, Greenpeace campaigner onboard the
Esperanza, said: "Bottom trawling is the most destructive activity
on the high seas, and today we were able to expose the devastation
"Bottom trawlers are trashing areas that are unique and thriving
habitats, and are home to probably thousands of marine species that
we haven't even discovered."
"Every day wasted just discussing the need for action is
possibly another deep sea habitat gone. The UN must act to stop
destructive fishing and save the giant squid and thousands of other
The Esperanza is currently investigating and documenting bottom
trawling in the North Atlantic. Seamounts in this area run from the
south of Iceland to the Azores and form the world's largest
Greenpeace is a member of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition,
an international alliance of organizations, representing millions
of people in countries around the world, which is calling for a
moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.
VVPR info: Video footage of the bottom trawler is available from Maarten van Rouveroy: +31 646 197 322, and images from Daniel Beltra +31 653 819 255.