Local whale footage sparks calls for trawler ban

Local whale footage sparks calls for trawler ban

Local whale footage sparks calls for trawler ban

A rise of sightings of whales off the Yorkshire coast have prompted conservationists to call for a ban on super trawlers in British waters.
Owners of super trawlers such as ‘Margiris’, which has been fishing in the North Sea in recent weeks, insist that the vessels are operating “entirely under legal conditions”.
However, conservationists, such as Robin Petch, have said that the mile-long nets carried by the vessels can and have caused incredible damage to eco-systems.
He continued:

“Some parts of the world, Australia for example, have banned these vessels from their waters and we hope that in the coming years the same thing will happen in our waters.”

As of August, a total of 709 whale sightings have been submitted, with 32 in Yorkshire and 4 in Lincolnshire.

But, according to the Sea Watch Foundation, whales and dolphins are facing an increasing threat from modern pressures in their environment.

Factors such as pollution, accidental capture in fishing nets, and disturbance from vessels, particularly high-speed craft, pose a particularly high risk to marine wildlife.

A statement by the organisation continues:

“Recreational activities in inshore waters have burgeoned recently, and can pose a major threat to whales and dolphins either by direct injury when animals are accidentally rammed or cut by the boat’s propeller, or by interference or stress caused from the noise made by the vessel’s motor or from its propeller when at speed.

“Besides the physical threat of collision, remember that whales, dolphins and porpoises use sound as a daily part of their life, for locating and capturing food, locating and communicating with one another, detecting predators, and forming a picture of their underwater environment in often very dim light.

“Many of the sounds made by craft directly overlap the frequencies used by cetaceans: the lower frequency noise of the engine and those caused by cavitation of the propeller blade, producing broadband, high frequency noise.

“This causes interference with their daily activities, sometimes excluding them from preferred feeding or nursery areas. It can also lead to undue stress.”

Now, increasing sightings coupled with the ongoing threat to marine wildlife has caused conservationists to call for an overall ban on super trawlers in British waters.