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'Fishing in the South Atlantic is practiced with such intensity that more than 400 fishing vessels arrive in this region to plunder...' (Greenpeace)

Greenpeace exposes destructive fishing vessels in the South Atlantic

Click on the flag for more information about Uruguay URUGUAY
Friday, November 01, 2019, 01:10 (GMT + 9)

Greenpeace Andino activists protested on Thursday against the lack of regulation for the fishing industry in the South Atlantic by displaying a 25 meter-long banner in front of the South Korean fishing vessels Agnes 103 and Agnes 107 in the port of Montevideo, Uruguay, with the message “Ocean Looters”. The port regularly hosts vessels that fish in the unregulated waters beyond Argentina's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), including some reportedly with a history of illegal fishing.

In addition to operating in that "international zone", many foreign ships enter into the EEZ of Argentina or Malvinas and South Georgia and then exit again

Speaking from Montevideo, Luisina Vueso, from the Protect the Oceans campaign, said: “The lack of control and regulations are leaving the ocean on the verge of collapse. In the south-west Atlantic alone, over 400 fishing vessels arrive each year to empty its seas. The fishing industry operates far from sight and scrutiny in these waters, putting this special place at risk”.

The protest also marks the launch of the Greenpeace Andino report The Wild West Atlantic: The impact of overfishing in the south-west Atlantic ocean, which exposes the impacts of the fishing industry in the area.

The port of Montevideo it could be a perfect scenario for a Holywood movie (semi-sunken ships, pirate ships and abandoned fishing vessels (Photo: Stockfile)

The report highlights the threats of overfishing to a place known as the Blue Hole, 1,333 kilometers (720 nautical miles) south off Montevideo, which is home to unique ecosystems and iconic wildlife, like the southern right whale, and other species that are classified as vulnerable, like the sperm whale. The Blue Hole is reported to be one of the areas of international waters most exploited by bottom trawling, where vessels, plough the seafloor and indiscriminately destroy marine life.

Crews of an Asian fishing vessel unloading the body of a dead seaman (Photo: Oceanos)

“We urgently need to create fully protected areas for critical ecosystems, like The Blue Hole, that are vital to the health of our oceans. We can not stand by as these vessels threaten this amazing ecosystem: a migratory route, and key nursery, breeding and feeding area for more than 40 species with populations at risk,” said Luisina.

Greenpeace is calling for a Global Ocean Treaty to be adopted at the United Nations, that would enable the creation of a network of ocean sanctuaries in international waters, free from industrial human activity.


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