Subject: Hoover fishing' ban demanded t
Tue, 14 Jan 97 12:55:00 GMT

Hoover fishing' ban demanded to save North Sea stocks

  By Moira Whittle, Consumer Affairs Correspondent, PA News
   Large areas of the North Sea must be closed to industrial fishing if
and table fish stocks are to be protected, environmental campaign group
Greenpeace said today.
   A report -- Industrial Hoover Fishing: A Policy Vacuum -- said that species
as sandeels and Norwegian pout, which are caught in the ultra-fine nets used in
industrial fishing, were important in the marine food web for cod and other
   The actions of the industry, which was inadequately regulated, taking over
half the weight of all fish landed in the North Sea -- combined with those of
fishermen and predatory fish left little for seabirds and marine mammals, said
the report which drew on 100 separate studies.
   A recent Unilever report estimated up to 60% of the diet of fish consumed by
humans consisted of the industrial fish species, sandeels and Norway pout.
   Studies examining the diets of harbour porpoises, grey seals and common
dolphins in Scottish water also concluded the species are heavily dependent on
sandeels during summer months.
   Without immediate and serious action the North Sea marine environment would
unsustainable, concluded the Greenpeace report.
   And it recommended the closure of industrial sandeel fisheries in areas
sensitive for wildlife, as well as those which extend into spawning, nursery
important feeding grounds for table fish.
   "What further evidence do we need before action is taken. The North Sea
cannot sustain this onslaught any longer. Environment and fisheries ministers
must act now or accept responsibility for destroying our seas," said Greenpeace
fisheries campaigner Robbie Kellman.