After revealing that supertrawlers spent 5590 hours fishing in UK offshore protected areas in the first half of 2020, a new Greenpeace analysis has found that only 5 of the UK’s 73 offshore protected areas ‘may be’ progressing towards conservation targets.
21 offshore protected areas are ‘unlikely’ to be progressing towards conservation targets. The remaining 47 lack any information on their progress. Just 2 out of 73 offshore protected areas have long-term site condition monitoring available.
This analysis was conducted by compiling each protected area’s ‘Progress Towards Conservation Targets’ as listed on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s MPA Site Information Centres, which hold up to date information on each of the UK’s offshore MPAs.
These findings are revealed today in a new Greenpeace report, Bright Blue Seas [embargoed copy available on request]. The report, which features a foreword by Chris Packham, examines the state of the UK’s network of offshore protected areas, those more than 12 nautical miles from the coast, and the destructive industrial fishing activity which continues to take place with alarming regularity inside them.
Greenpeace’s report focuses on offshore protected areas because the UK Government will have new powers to regulate fishing in offshore waters after Britain’s departure from the Common Fisheries Policy. Greenpeace’s ship, the Esperanza, will set sail this month to bear witness to some of the destructive practices taking place in the UK’s failing protected areas.