Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

North-east fishing boss calls for authorities to take action after Greenpeace ’caused havoc’ on North Sea supertrawler

Mike Park believes action must be taken to tackle the activities of Greenpeace which, he believes, risk the safety of fishermen at sea.
Mike Park believes action must be taken to tackle the activities of Greenpeace which, he believes, risk the safety of fishermen at sea.

A north-east fishing chief is calling for action to be taken against Greenpeace after activists boarded a supertrawler in the North Sea.

The environmental campaigners claimed the Helen Mary vessel was fishing in the Central Fladen marine protected area (MPA), east of Orkney.

But Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA) chief executive Mike Park expects authorities to move against activists from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, who boarded the 380-ft vessel and hung a banner reading: “Ban supertrawlers now”.

They placed fishing deterrents in the supertrawler’s nets before the German-registered Helen Mary left the area.

Supertrawlers are high intensity fishing vessels, capable of catching hundreds of tonnes of fish each day using nets up to a mile long.

Greenpeace claims the intensity with which they fish negatively impacts the entire marine ecosystem, but industry bodies say pelagic fisheries concern species that do not live near to protected seabeds in the area.

The Helen Mary is owned by Parlevliet & Van der Plas, based in the Netherlands.

Greenpeace highlighted the fact the supertrawler was detailed at sea in 2019 by Marine Scotland on suspected fishery offences.

But the vessel was released the same day without penalty.

Gerard van Balsfoort, president of the Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association, of which Parlevliet & Van der Plas is a member, said: “These vessels were operating entirely legally.

“Greenpeace’s campaign peddles mistruths and ignores the scientific basis for MPAs.

“After decades of collaboration with governments and the scientific community the processes pelagic fishing has in place ensure we are fishing sustainably.”

Last night, his words were backed by Fraserburgh-based SWFPA chief executive, Mike Park, who told The P&J: “As law abiding seafarers, it’s always a grievance to us that organisations full of anarchists can roam the seas and cause havoc wherever they go.

“That brings a threat to north-east and Scottish fishermen as well as everyone else.

“It’s always a concern when organisations, such as Greenpeace, carry out activity and always seems to get away with it.

“This comes on the back of them discarding large boulders in the Dogger Bank area last month where a number of our members fish – that’s outrageous behaviour and against the law.

“I would imagine the government or Coastguard should have something to say about the boarding.

“At the end of the day, whether you like big industrial vessels or not, the fact of the matter is they were operating lawfully and legally.

“There is no designated management measures in that MPA so the crew was not operating illegally.”

In a statement yesterday Chris Thorne, a Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner on board Esperanza, said: “Supertrawlers have no place in our protected areas.

“What use is a protected area, when the highest intensity industrial fishing vessels are allowed to operate inside it?

“Regardless of whether a protected area protects the seabed, or marine life like porpoises which are directly threatened by supertrawlers, the operations of a supertrawler in a supposedly protected area make a mockery of the word protected.”

Mr Park came back at the response, adding: “Whether you favour big commercial vessel or not, until the government brings in legislation to stop them, they have a legitimate right to pursue their activity.

“Pelagic fisheries take place off the bottom but the MPA in that area will be to protect sea bed species.

“The Helen Mary won’t go near the bottom, its nets will stay mid-water.

“The problem we have with Greenpeace is any news is good news for them – they don’t seem to care if they are breaking the law as long as they get media attention.

“They don’t bother about who they harm in the process.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in