The British government has vowed to send Royal Navy gunboats to keep fishing boats from the European Union out of its waters from January 1. But environmentalists say they are not taking a hard enough line on a fleet of Dutch super-trawlers already plundering protection zones.
Environmental campaigners have urged the government to chase European super-trawlers out of UK waters after surge in dolphin and porpoise deaths.
Greenpeace and local groups linked a series of grisly finds on beaches to a last-minute rush by Dutch factory ships to scoop up as many fish as possible before the post-Brexit transition period ends on December 31.
Greenpeace head of oceans Will McCallum told The Independent on Saturday the supertrawlers were making a “show” of existing fishing rights which will be lost in even of a no-deal Brexit. The boats began arriving in British waters on November 18, and by Friday they numbered ten.
They have been staying for weeks at a time, longer than normal, – including in designated Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). “What the government calls protected areas are protected in name only,” McCallum said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has pledged to deploy armed Royal Navy patrol vessels and helicopters to keep fishing boats from France and other EU countries out of British waters from January 1. But the Greenpeace activist said Downing Street could go further than it has.
On Friday, the Brighton Dolphin Project found a dead…