The second largest fishing vessel in the world dumped 100,000 dead fish off the coast of France
PARIS.- A huge carpet of fish carcasses floating in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of France prompted calls for an investigation after activists denounced that the second largest fishing boat in the world dumped more than 100,000 dead fish.
The incident came to light after the French branch of the international environmental organization Sea Shepherd posted images of a carpet of dead fish in the sea on social media. “This is what is happening right now in the Bay of Biscay,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Environmentalists who inspected the spill shared aerial photos of a dense layer of fish floating in the water, images that France’s maritime minister, Annick Girardin, described as “shocking”. The official also said she had asked the country’s fisheries watchdog to investigate.
Industry group PFA, which represents the Dutch-owned supertrawler Margiris, claimed that the incident occurred after the ship’s net broke on Thursday. He also specified that it is a “very rare” event that came caused “by the unexpectedly large size of the fish caught.”
According to the group, the dead fish, which covered an area of about 3000 square meters, son bacaladillas, a subspecies of cod used to produce fish sticks, oil Y flour in dough.
The incident has fueled debate about these boats, which use trawl nets of more than one kilometer long to catch tons of fish and process them in factories on board, a practice heavily criticized by environmentalists.
Some are even banned in many countries due to their harmful impact on marine ecosystems, in addition to the overfishing they cause. This is precisely the case of the Margiris which, after a series of protests in 2012, was forced to leave Australian waters.
Sea Shepherd assures that this ship “is used to this type of ‘fishing accident‘”, because “it has already been implicated in discarding unwanted catches”, denounces Lamya Essemlali, president of the organization.
Likewise, the woman criticized that the French authorities are showing “laxity” in the matter and called on citizens to reflect on “the disastrous consequences of overfishing”. “We have the longest coastline in Europe and we should be exemplary,” he concluded.