The campaign is being backed by former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney who is urging supporters to add their names to the growing calls to keep the huge fishing vessels away from the UK coast. If the online petition gets 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.
Mr Daubney said: “The petition to ban EU supertrawlers from British waters has now amassed more than 28,000 signatures.
“Please lend it your support. These vessels destroy marine ecosystems and British boats cannot compete!
“This is a clear, tangible early win we could have as a newly independent coastal nation.
“There’s a hugely compelling case for marine conservation.
“The EU is obsessed with saving the environment – expect if it’s British waters!”
The petition, launched by the Fishing For Leave campaign group on the Parliament.UK website, states: “We request that the Government proposes a ban on supertrawlers from UK waters after the UK becomes an Independent Coastal State and is no longer restricted by the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which allowed these huge vessels to decimate fish stocks and endanger marine ecosystems and species.
“Supertrawlers are factory sized fishing vessels over 100m which trail nets mile-long, catching thousands of tonnes of fish including bycatch and protected species including cetaceans.
“Foreign-owned supertrawlers are regularly decimating the UK’s fish stocks and endanger protected marine species.
“In 2019 such vessels fished in 39 of the UK’s marine protected areas, while in the first six months of 2020 a total of 23 supertrawlers (mostly Dutch and Russian) fished in 19 marine protected areas.”
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June Mummery, another former Brexit Party MEP and leading UK fishing industry figure, said EU super trawlers will become a forgotten threat to the UK as the “great British public” leads the “crusade” against the huge vessels.
Ms Mummery, a member of the Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance, a founder of Renaissance of East Anglian Fisheries and a Fishing For Leave activist, said the presence of super trawlers in British waters had destroyed stocks and damaged the ecosystem.
She also insisted switching from bigger boats to smaller vessels would not only reduce the impact of the boats’ presence but also create more employment.
“It’s the catch with a lot of these super trawlers, so I want them gone. The UK wants a sustainable fishery and we will be the leaders in that and the Government and the public are behind it.
“It’s very important we protect our waters and Mother Nature.”
Almost 30,000 people have signed the online petition to ban supertrawlers from British waters.