Stop mega trawlers !
Did you know that, in Europe, the largest fishing vessels, which represent 1% of the fleet, catch half of the fish? These factory-vessels can measure up to 144 meters in length and catch 400,000 kilos of fish per day! This is as much as 1,000 small-scale fishing vessels in one day at sea.
These veritable sea monsters are devastating Europe’s biodiversity and coastlines. It is important to measure the scale of the damage: about 20 of these factory-vessels can obliterate hundreds of thousands of marine animals and biodiversity treasures in one day, including in the so-called ‘Marine Protected Areas’ of French territorial waters, which are not protected at all.
Unfortunately, our political leaders allow this systematic massacre of marine life and ecosystems. They support industrial fisheries in an unabashed complicity and remain insensitive to the fate of marine animals and the disappearance of coastal fishers and economies.
In addition, more and more ‘mega trawlers’ – vessels over 25 meters in length – come right up to the coast to fish, so close to the beaches that they can be observed from the shore. These industrial monsters were not designed to fish in coastal waters, where small artisanal fishers operate.
This situation has gotten out of hand and is creating an ecological, social and economic disaster:
- First of all, fishing so close to the coast with a mega trawler is an ecological absurdity. Coastal waters form a crucial feeding and breeding ground for marine animals. Near-shore areas are already under pressure from a multitude of human activities and land-based pollution. These critical ecosystems should not be further compromised by the destructive onslaught of vessels whose gigantic nets can swallow marine life from the surface down to the seabed like unforgiving jaws.
- In addition, industrial fleets of mega trawlers are ultra mobile and efficient. They follow fish like merciless predators, arrive in an area, suck up all living things and leave like roving bandits, leaving the local small-scale fishers with a stunned, lifeless ocean in need of healing. Mega trawlers thus create a social disaster because they compete with coastal fishers who have been anchored in a territory for generations, and who depend on a healthy ocean to maintain their activities.
Mega trawlers over 25 meters long have no place along our coasts. They were designed to fish offshore and definitely not in coastal areas!
It is time to put an end to the plundering of the living world.
We must protect coastal waters by prohibiting fishing vessels over 25 meters long in the territorial waters of European Member States.
We demand the dismantling of factory-vessels and the redistribution of their quotas to fishers whose low-impact practices generate employment in our territories!
Sign this petition addressed to the European Union institutions and to each EU Member State!