Despite the EU pledging to protect the environment, the Dutch-owned and Lithuanian-flagged Margiris, has been found hoovering up stocks off the coast of Mauritania. In yet another example of the damaging use of supertrawlers by EU states, campaigners and Brexiteers have criticised Brussels for jeopardising the environment and those who depend on it. Speaking to Express.co.uk, former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib, claimed the incident is yet another example of the EU’s pursuit to extract maximum gains from commodities despite the damage it may cause.
Mr Habib, who has long criticised the EU’s use of supertrawlers, said: “To those of us interested in how the EU actually works, it is no surprise their industrial fishing vessels are plundering the seas off the west coast of Africa.
“These same vessels have been plundering British waters for decades.
“They do not care for sustaining this hugely valuable resource.
“They treat it as any other commodity – to be used to the maximum extent possible for the benefit of the EU.
Brexit news: The trawler is one of hthe largest in the world
Brexit news: Greenpeace has protested at the use of the trip before
“Their approach is as short-sighted as it is damaging. They are obviously depleting a valuable natural resource that should rightfully be for the benefit of the people of Africa.
“In the years to come fish stocks will not recover and the peoples of both Africa and the EU will be the worse off for it.”
The Margiris, which is owned by Dutch company Parlevliet van der Plas, has been caught fishing in protected UK waters in the past.
The mammoth supertrawler has also been banned from Australia’s waters due to environmental concerns to the local ecosystem.
Brexit news: Mr Habib criticised the bloc
Mr Habib added: “The EU behaves like an invading imperial power of ancient times, caring not one jot about the damage caused in the pursuit of its own narrow immediate interests.
“If the British government is serious about the environment it should step up to the plate and stop the EU behaving this way.
“A good place to start would be in our own territorial waters which are still being destroyed by the EU.”
Despite leaving the EU, the Government cannot ban supertrawlers from Britain’s waters, claiming instead, it can only legislate against the fish they catch.
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