Greenpeace activists board EU trawler on third day of high seas action

Press release - October 27, 2004
Activists from Greenpeace International today climbed onto the nets of a European Union bottom trawling vessel in the North Atlantic while she attempted to land her destructive haul, as part of an ongoing protest against deep sea destruction and the EU's efforts to block an international moratorium.

A Greenpeace activist protests against the EU deep sea bottom trawler Playa de Menduina, fishing in the North Atlantic. Greenpeace is protesting against the destruction caused by this fishing practice and demanding a UN moratorium on bottom trawling on the high seas.

Activists from Greenpeace International today climbed onto the nets of a European Union bottom trawling vessel in the North Atlantic while she attempted to land her destructive haul, as part of an ongoing protest against deep sea destruction and the EU's efforts to block an international moratorium.

On the third day of sustained action against the EU bottom trawler "Playa de Menduina", the two activists then unfurled a banner which read "EU Deep Sea Destroyer" before being dragged through the waves on the net and up onto the deck of the Spanish flagged trawler. There they hoisted a flag on the vessel, which bore the international "Stop" red circle over the words 'EU Deep Sea Bottom Trawler'. They remained on deck for 25 minutes before jumping to a waiting Greenpeace inflatable.

In the last two days at the United Nations, fisheries representatives have been discussing the future of the high seas and tomorrow will specifically discuss calls for an international moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.

Bottom-trawling boats on the high seas, the majority of which are 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: "The EU and all governments of the world must support a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling. The UN is currently meeting to protect deep seas from this kind of destruction and the EU is inexcusably blocking attempts to stop bottom trawlers trashing important and unique habitats.

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 mountain range.

VVPR info: Photo: +31 646 16 2009 Video: + 31 646 197 322

Notes: 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.

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