Off the coast of Scotland in a conservation zone 11 Russian supertrawlers plundered fishing stocks where fishing is prohibited.
Greenpeace campaigners said the Russian flagged and owned fishing trawlers were believed to be catching blue whiting at the Wyville-Thomson Ridge Special Area of Conservation.
The Ridge “supports diverse biological communities representative of hard substratum in deep water.”
Chris Thorne, an Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace UK said, “While the UK is in lockdown, this fleet of destructive supertrawlers has been plundering fish from what is supposed to be a protected area in UK waters.
“The intensity with which these vast ships fish is not compatible with a healthy ocean.
“They drag vast nets, up to a mile long, in their wake hoovering up fish and other marine life and disturbing the entire water column.
“If the UK government wants to be taken seriously as a world leader in marine protection, it must do more to restrict and regulate the activities of the international supertrawler fleet, and support small scale, sustainable fishing communities.”
The conservation zone was approved in 2017 by the European Commission, but clearly Vladamir Putin has no regard, and is taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Scottish Government spokeswoman said, “We are aware that a multi-national fleet is legitimately operating in shared waters under the Faroese Government’s authority, and has done for a number of years.
“They are targeting blue whiting, a species caught with nets that do not contact the seabed.
“We are monitoring these vessels through Marine Protection Vessels patrols and our 24/7 electronic surveillance to ensure there is no infringements.”
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