NewsTens of thousands of dead fish are floating off...

Tens of thousands of dead fish are floating off the coast of France: the environmental organization raises serious charges

An environmental organization discovers tens of thousands of dead fish off the French coast. Those responsible now express themselves in a statement.

La Rochelle – The discovery of more than 100,000 dead fish in the Atlantic off the French coast is currently calling environmentalists into action. According to Euronews, the responsible ministry has now also turned on and initiated a corresponding investigation.

The non-profit organization “Sea Shepherd” in France – an offshoot of the US NGO – shared a post about the find via Twitter on Thursday (02/03/2022). “This is exactly what is happening in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle,” the tweet said.

Mysterious find off the west coast of France

The organization’s images showed tens of thousands of dead fish floating about 300 kilometers off La Rochelle. The mass of dead fish forms a huge white carpet in the Bay of Biscay. As the organization further reported, the animals were blue whiting. The saltwater fish belongs to the cod family. Blue whiting is a heavily fished species. It is not primarily marketed fresh, but rather in the form of fish sticks, fish oil or fishmeal.

“Four factory ships operate in this area, including the Margiris, the second largest trawler in the world,” the tweet continued. According to the organization, the Margiris is banned in Australia.

Dead fish off the coast of France: Those responsible express themselves in a statement

In the meantime, the Pelagic Freeze-Trawler Association (PFA) has also issued a statement on the find. The organization represents the interests of several European companies for ocean-going vessels that fish for human consumption. “The PFA fully understands the emotions that such images can evoke,” the organization responded on Friday (02/04/2022).

“We would like to clarify that around 5:50 am on February 3, 2022, a quantity of blue whiting was involuntarily released into the sea from the Margiris ship,” it said.

But what is behind it? Apparently, the trawl broke off, which is why the fish got into the sea. “Such an accident is rare and in this case was caused by the unexpectedly large size of the fish caught,” the PFA said.

Vor der Küste Frankreichs treiben tausende tote Fische im Meer.


Thousands of dead fish are floating in the sea off the coast of France.

According to their own statements, the responsible authorities in Lithuania were informed immediately, since the ship was flying the Lithuanian flag. In view of the incident, Margiris took measures to prevent something like this from happening again. “It is not in our members’ interests to lose fish they take on board and we regret that this fish is now unavailable for human consumption,” the PFA said in its statement. “The PFA and its members remain committed to responsible and sustainable fishing and will continue to work closely with authorities and all stakeholders.”

Tens of thousands of dead fish off the coast of France: environmental organization formulated serious accusation

According to Sea Shepherd in France, this was by no means an accidental incident. Lamya Essemlali, head of the campaign, told Reuters that the fish were dumped into the sea on purpose. According to the environmental organization, the fish were just by-catch and not the actual goal of the catch.

French Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Annick Girardin has urged the national fisheries control agency to launch an investigation to identify the exact cause. The minister explained this via Twitter. “France is committed to sustainable fisheries,” Girardin wrote. And that is not reflected in the incident. Should it actually be a violation, sanctions would be imposed on those responsible.

EU commissioner comments on dead fish in the sea

Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, also tweeted about the dead fish off France’s west coast. “We are launching an investigation with the national authorities of the fishing area and the suspected flag state of the vessel to obtain full information and evidence on the case.”

Trawlers like the Margiris have been criticized by environmentalists for years. The trawl of the floating fish factory is several hundred meters long. The fish are processed directly on board.

The fishing dispute over fishing rights between France and Great Britain came to a head last year. After months of argument, a British minister even threatened retaliation. (cheese)

Headline list image: © Sea Shepherd / AFP

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