Greenpeace drops boulders on sea floor to disrupt bottom trawling
August 12, 2008
Greenpeace dropped hundreds of tons of granite boulders on the sea floor in the German North Sea in order to stop bottom trawling in an area that is designated as a ‘Special Area of Conservation’ by the EU.
The environmental group says that although Sylt Outer Reef is protected under European law, highly destructive practices such as bottom trawling and sand and gravel extraction are allowed. Greenpeace notes that the reef is a popular fishing ground and home to “an abundance of sea life.”
“We need the Sylt Outer Reef to truly be protected — and not just on paper. That means an enforceable ban on fishing and sand and gravel extraction in the area to create an effective marine reserve. Only this will give the area a chance to recover after decades of exploitation.”
Greenpeace says it has strategically places the boulders, weighing 2-3 tons each, to disrupt trawling in sensitive areas. The group is calling on the German government to put pressure on the European Commission to implement new measures which will prohibit fishing in the area.
Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of fully protected marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans.