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Fishing communities in the UK are at breaking point, and are declaring an emergency September 14,2021   |  Source: Greenpeace

It was worse than we imagined. Operation Ocean Witness launched at the beginning of summer to investigate and confront destructive fishing in Marine Protected Areas.

We spotted countless industrial fishing boats in the protected areas and learned from local fishers that there are often no fish left for them to catch. It’s almost the end of the road for small-scale fishers along the South and East Coast.

This is an emergency, and politicians should treat it like one. Fishing communities from around the region, along with allied businesses and organisations including Greenpeace UK, are calling on the UK government to take urgent action.

The changes we’re calling for include permanent bans for supertrawlers, bottom trawlers and fly-shooters in all marine protected areas more than 12 nautical miles from the coast in the English Channel, and a ban on pelagic trawlers over 55m in length, and fly-shooters in the entire English Channel and Southern North Sea.

These measures would boost catches for local fishers, revive coastal communities and provide space for marine ecosystems and fish populations to recover from years of devastation by industrial fishing. This would also be a vital step towards the UK government delivering its target of protecting 30% of the UK’s

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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