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Greenpeace Preston holds sale to combat ‘industrial fishing frenzy’

Posted on - 28th August, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Politics, Preston News, Wildlife and Conservation
Greenpeace Preston’s campaign poster. Pic: Greenpeace Preston

A local Greenpeace group this month has sold items and clothing from a stall at Accrington Eco-Fest to raise funds for a campaign tackling industrial fishing.

On Saturday, 13 August, Greenpeace Preston Local Group sold ‘past and present’ Greenpeace items at the Eco-Fest, which unites ‘environmentally conscious’ Lancashire businesses, organisations, and charities.

The Preston Group raised £75 thanks to the generosity of local residents, contributing towards the £10,000 cost of dropping a boulder around marine areas to protect them from industrial fishing.

Read more: New choir to launch in Preston’s Climate Emergency Centre

Greenpeace Preston’s Accrington Stall. Pic: Greenpeace Preston

Liz helped to run the stall with her friend, John, and another volunteer from the Preston group.

Liz said: “We had such a great time at the Eco-Fest. It was so lovely to meet people and talk to them about the work Greenpeace are doing to protect our oceans and see how much they supported us.

“We didn’t know how interested people would be in the old Greenpeace tees and tote bags, but we were pleasantly surprised!’

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The festival offered the community an opportunity to learn about, get involved in and enjoy elements of living in an ‘environmentally caring’ way.

Several local people also signed a petition calling for the end to destructive fishing in Marine-Protected Areas (MPAs).

In the upcoming weeks, Greenpeace will build an underwater boulder barrier in an MPA to block destructive industrial fishing.

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Greenpeace said it is taking marine protection ‘into its own hands’ for the third time as the government ‘continues to fail to uphold its promises’ to make Brexit a turning point for protecting small-scale fishing in the UK.

They said the next Prime Minister must ban industrial fishing in MPAs by amending commercial fishing licences.

Greenpeace’s ship, Arctic Sunrise, will sail to the South West Deeps (East), a Marine Protected Area almost 200 kilometres off the Cornish coast, to make a portion of it off-limits to bottom-trawling.

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Bottom-trawling is a highly destructive type of fishing as it drags weighted nets across the seafloor, tearing up marine habitats. 

Celebrities Stephen Fry, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Simon Pegg and Daniel Lismore support the action. Greenpeace will stencil their names onto the boulders before placing them on the seabed from the ship.

The South West Deeps is one of the most heavily fished Marine Protected Areas in the UK: 

  • Between 1 January 2021 and 15 July 2022, the South West Deeps were fished in for nearly 19,000 hours. 
  • Between 1 January 2021 and 15 July 2022, bottom trawlers spent more than 3,370 hours fishing in the area. 
  • The majority of industrial fishing vessels in the South West Deeps are from France (53 per cent), followed by Spain (30 per cent) and Great Britain (9 per cent). 

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Greenpeace UK aims to build their third boulder barrier in August – the same month as the UN’s final negotiations for a Global Ocean Treaty in New York.

The Global Ocean Treaty would allow governments to create vast ocean sanctuaries that are off-limits to harmful activities. 

This round of negotiations is the last chance for governments to meet their commitments to ocean protection worldwide.

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Liz said: “As an island nation, we know how important our oceans are for fishing communities, tourism and tackling climate change. 

“The boulder barrier is the last resort to save the UK’s marine life; we would prefer that the government just did their job and kept long-standing promises to end destructive fishing in MPAs.”

To sign the petition, visit – https://action.greenpeace.org.uk/ban-destructive-fishing

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