MPs back sea bass ban
Green Consumer Guide.com
3rd February 2004
MPs have this week called for an end to sea bass fishing in UK territories in a bid to combat continuing by-catch killings of dolphins and porpoises. A report by the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee recommends an EU-wide ban on sea bass fishing and goes on to suggest that once an annual by-catch ‘quota’ has been met, fisheries must cease operations to prevent exceeding the number.
The development follows the recent publication of an investigation commissioned by Greenpeace that claimed up to 10,000 cetaceans were killed every year in British waters through trawling practices.
UK Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw said; "The UK is one of the few member states in Europe that has taken this issue seriously and has carried out extensive research into the problem of dolphins and porpoises getting trapped in nets. I am concerned that action should be taken to reduce the general level of small cetacean bycatch and I do not rule out other options such as closures if we cannot quickly reduce dolphin casualties by other means. However, meaningful action to address the problem of bycatch will require action on the part of all EU Member States involved in the fisheries concerned, not just the UK."
Greenpeace’s Sarah Duthie commented; "If the Government acts on these recommendations it would be good news for dolphins. It's now vital that there are observers on all fishing vessels identifying the fisheries responsible for killing dolphins so that action can be taken to prevent these unnecessary deaths.”