A surge of EU industrial supertrawlers are devastating UK territorial waters, including marine protected areas.
The actions of the supertrawlers are thought to be a ‘last hurrah’ before Britain likely reclaims its waters after a conclusion to the Brexit talks is reached.
At least ten giant factory ships from EU nations have plundered UK waters, not only catching masses of their target fish, but devastating stocks of marine wildlife including dolphins, porpoises and seals.
Olivier Le Prêtre, head of the Hauts-de-France fishing council, expressed his concerns about the majority Dutch-owned supertrawlers decimating fish stocks:
“If it was only French fishermen in French waters, then no-deal might be OK, but we have the Belgians, the Dutch to contend with,” Le Prêtre added that the Netherlands “is a nation that is exterminating fish. They have bought up the European fleet, they fish to excess. We all know full well that if we exterminate the fish they won’t come back ever again.”
The British government is preparing new legislation, which would give the Royal Navy new powers to board EU vessels and arrest crew members if they try and carry-out illegal fishing in UK waters.