Oceans

Fixing fairness in fisheries starts at home

Posted by Willie — 30 March 2012 at 10:23am - Comments
Artisanal fishing boat 40 miles off the coast of Mauritania
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace / Pierre Gleizes
Artisanal fishing boat 40 miles off the coast of Mauritania

Approximately 1.5 MILLION small-scale fishermen live and work along the coast of West Africa. They live a life directly dependent on the seas on their doorstep. And it's not just them - their families and communities depend on it too, of course. Yet here in the seas off West Africa it's clear to see their interests are being ignored in favour of allowing massive, industrialised, factory fishing vessels to gobble up all the fish. Of course some of this is illicit, but much of it is legitimised plunder, such as the huge PFA vessels down here with EU subsidies and paid-for Fisheries Partnership Agreements

Flags, convenience and bending the rules to steal Africa’s fish

Posted by Willie — 26 March 2012 at 5:46pm - Comments
Greenpeace activists paint 'Plunder' on the side of a Lithuanian super trawler
All rights reserved. Credit: Pierre Gleizes / Greenpeace
Greenpeace activists paint 'Plunder' on the side of a Lithuanian super trawler

 We’re currently following a stern trawler as it fishes. It’s not the biggest vessel out here, but, like many others it is fishing up and down where the shallow continental shelf meets deeper waters. That there is fish in these waters there is no doubt, and proved by the birds, whales and dolphins we encounter here, as well as the fishing vessels.

What is the UK’s biggest fishing boat doing in West African seas?

Posted by Willie — 23 March 2012 at 2:04pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Willie MacKenzie / Greenpeace
UK registered supertrawler Cornelis Vrolijk fishing off Mauritania

I’m out in the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere off Mauritania in West Africa, aboard the Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise. We’re here to document and expose the shocking overfishing of Africa’s coastal seas by huge fishing vessels from the EU and elsewhere.

UK minister Benyon flexing his political muscles in Brussels

Posted by Willie — 16 March 2012 at 5:30pm - Comments
Abdou, Issa, John Sauven, Willie Bain and Celestino discuss DEFRA policy
All rights reserved. Credit: © Greenpeace
Last year Richard Benyon met with Greenpeace and a delegation of West African fishermen

EU council meetings are rarely something that the vast majority of us get excited about. These meetings are when the representatives from each of the EU governments get together, to discuss specific topics. Usually it’s the relevant minister who goes, but they are effectively deputising for their government.

The Italian Job: reeling in the Italian tuna industry

Posted by simon clydesdale — 9 March 2012 at 1:56pm - Comments
Tuna and bycatch caught in the east Pacific
All rights reserved. Credit: Alex Hofford/Greenpeace
Tuna and bycatch caught in the east Pacific

The sands in the tuna campaign have shifted again, and the oceans and tuna will ultimately be better off for it. Our Italian colleagues have just announced that the local tinned tuna brand Mareblu has committed to stop using Fads (fish aggregation devices) - the destructive marine minefields that have been blighting the oceans for decades.

Video: How Europe’s plunder of West African waters is affecting local communities

Posted by hayley.baker — 5 March 2012 at 5:25pm - Comments

This week as our crew on the Arctic Sunrise highlights the mass plundering taking place at sea by European super trawlers in West Africa; our team on land in Senegal and Mauritania have met some of the communities who have been affected by this modern day pillage.

New Antarctic Ocean Alliance to blaze trail for marine reserves

Posted by hayley.baker — 28 February 2012 at 6:25pm - Comments

According to some people, 2012 is supposed to be a year of transformative events. Well I don’t know about astronomical alignments, the Mayan calendar and all that, but for us oceans campaigners, 2012 is definitely significant – for 2012 is the year by which the world’s governments should have committed to a global network of marine protected areas (MPAs).

Arctic Sunrise captures EU trawlers plundering West African seas

Posted by Willie — 27 February 2012 at 9:30am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Pierre Gleizes / Greenpeace
Activists highlight pirate Russian pelagic fishing trawler

Our ship, the Arctic Sunrise is currently in Mauritanian waters, to highlight the problems of overfishing emptying African seas. Vast factory-style fishing boats are trawling out fish at an alarming rate and decimating local ecosystems and livelihoods in the process.

Scandalous sentences for Scottish skippers

Posted by Willie — 24 February 2012 at 5:50pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Steve Morgan/ Greenpeace
Today's verdict is a slap in the face for all of us

Organised crime seems to pay quite handsomely, especially if you manage to be part of a profession that seems to be beyond reproach. That can surely be the only conclusion to draw from the group of 17 fishermen who were fined a mere £720 thousand in court today for an overfishing scam that effectively stole £63 MILLION of fish from our seas.

Common sense discarded

Posted by Ariana Densham — 20 February 2012 at 4:55pm - Comments
Small scale fishermen in Cornwall
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
Small scale fishermen in Cornwall

In the same way that discarding perfecting good fish, dead or dying back into sea is a disgrace, so is the attitude of many European fisheries ministers charged with ensuring sustainable fish stocks and viable fishing communities. For years they have ignored the obvious: that if they negotiated policies that allowed fish stocks to recover and championed low impact fishing, they would create more jobs.

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