Greenpeace UK prepares for second boulder drop in the South West Deeps Marine Protected Area


Greenpeace UK is preparing to return to the South West Deeps (East) Marine Protected Area to extend the protective boulder barrier they created on 1 September.

Tomorrow (Thursday 8 September) activists and crew will load eight more boulders onto Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, which is currently docked in Poole Quay in Dorset. 

Bottom-trawling is a hugely destructive type of fishing as it tears up marine habitats by dragging heavy nets across the seafloor. Extending the boulder barrier will give further protection to one of the South West Deeps’ most heavily fished areas. 

Will McCallum, Head of Oceans at Greenpeace UK, said: “Since we created a boulder barrier a week ago to block destructive bottom-trawling in the South West Deeps, the government hasn’t shown any intention to stop industrial fishing boats from devastating the area. So, we are planning to extend the boulder barrier we’ve just created to add even more protection. 

“Local fishermen are being left with no fish to catch. They’re struggling to make a living while facing the unprecedented cost of living crisis. Our new Prime Minister Liz Truss must immediately ban destructive fishing in every UK Marine Protected Area by tweaking commercial fishing licences. The government already has the power to do this; all they need is the will to make it happen.”


Press Call: Invitation to Poole Quay 

Journalists are invited to Poole Quay between 2-4pm on Thursday 8 September to film the boulders being loaded onto the ship, and to interview Greenpeace UK spokespeople. 

To express your interest and arrange an interview, please contact Jasmine Watkiss, Press & Communications Officer (UK Oceans) at / +447796 947448. 

The details: 

  • What: Greenpeace UK activists and crew will load eight new boulders onto the Arctic Sunrise
  • When: Thursday 8 September, 2-4pm
  • Where: Bulwark Quay, Poole Quay, Dorset
  • Why: The South West Deeps (East) is one of the most heavily industrially fished so-called Marine Protected Areas in UK waters. In the last 18 months, this area experienced almost 19,000 hours of industrial fishing, 3,370 hours of which was bottom-trawling. Bottom-trawling is a particularly harmful type of industrial fishing, which involves dragging heavy weighted nets along the seabed. This technique rips up and destroys all marine life on the seabed in its wake. Greenpeace UK’s boulder barrier will make bottom-trawling in the area impossible. The organisation dropped 18 boulders on Thursday 1 September, and are returning to the same area to extend the barrier they just created with eight more boulders. 
  • Spokespeople: Will McCallum, Head of Oceans at Greenpeace UK, and Campaigner Anna Diski.
  • Photos: Photos and video footage of Greenpeace UK’s boulder action in the South West Deeps (East) MPA on 1 September 2022 can be downloaded here.


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