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Express.co.uk readers can vote in our poll on whether the plundering supertrawlers should be banned from fishing in the UK’s waters. The huge boats are over 100 metres long and catch hundreds of tonnes of fish every day.
The UK could ban supertrawlers when it leaves the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Fishing arrangements have proved to be a major stumbling block in trade talks with the UK and the EU.
But Boris Johnson has refused to back down and on Wednesday European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Brussels has accepted Britain will take back control of its waters when the transition period ends.
She said: “No one questions the UK sovereignty over its own waters but we asked for predictability and we asked for guarantees for fisherman and fisherwomen who have been sailing in those waters for decades.”
Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner Chris Thorne has called for a ban on EU supertrawlers.
He said Brexit is a “historic opportunity to introduce genuinely world-leading marine protection standards in our offshore waters”.
He said: “Leaving the Common Fisheries Policy will give us new powers to better regulate fishing activity in our offshore waters, particularly in our offshore Marine Protected Areas.
“We should use these new powers to stop supertrawlers, the highest intensity industrial fishing boats, from fishing in ecologically sensitive parts of our waters that are meant to be protected.
“Banning supertrawlers, none of which are UK owned, from Marine Protected Areas would not only benefit our ecologically important marine areas, but also our struggling coastal communities.
“It would give fish populations room to recover, boosting catches for fishers on both sides of the Channel.
“Supertrawler operations are not compatible with properly protected marine areas.”
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A YouGov poll by Greenpeace showed 81 percent of the public back a ban on supertrawlers in the UK’s Marine Protected Areas.
Former Brexit Party MEP June Mummery said a ban on the massive boats “can’t come quick enough”.
She tweeted: “Jan 2021 can’t come quick enough this type of fishing will be banned along side the Electric Pulse, the UK wants sustainable fisheries.”
Earlier this month, the ex-MEP insisted the UK needs to “take back full control” of its fishing waters.
She said Britain’s fishing industry, which has been decimated by the CFP, should be as profitable and sustainable as Norway and Iceland.
Ms Mummery told Express.co.uk: “The secret weapon is the fishing industry.
“The EU is desperate to still be able to fish in our waters.
“We are going to be an independent coastal state.
“Therefore we control who can fish in our waters.
“At the end of the day we need to take back full control of our waters and fish.
“The UK has some of the richest fishing grounds in the world.
“We should be as profitable and sustainable as Norway and Iceland.”
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