Greenpeace will once again deposit boulders in the North Sea to prevent overfishing

Greenpeace will again dump boulders into the North Sea on Monday. Just like at the beginning of this week, the blocks are thrown on the British part of the Dogger Bank to protect the nature of that area from fishermen.

Last time, fifteen blocks were up the boundaries of the sandbar dumped. According to Greenpeace director Joris Thijssen, the new boulders will lie within those boundaries. “We want to protect those 47 square miles (roughly 125 square kilometers),” he says.

Thijssen calls the action desperately necessary because “the British government has not yet taken concrete measures to protect that area against trawl fishing”. “Trawl nets leave a trail of destruction over the bottom. It has now become an arid sandy plain.”

Natura 2000

The Dogger Bank is a Natura 2000 area, which means that it is a European protected nature area. The Dutch part of the sandbank is protected. Nature and environmental organizations, fishermen and governments work together.

The director of Greenpeace finds it incomprehensible that the British government is not protecting the area. “You can compare it to farmers who plow the Veluwe. Then we would all be rightly outraged”, he says.

Fisheries association VisNed and also the Dutch Ministry of Fisheries said this week that Greenpeace is endangering fishermen. “Nets and gear can get stuck and get damaged. Should a rock get on board, the crew could be injured,” VisNed wrote in a press release.

Proportional and safe

But Thijssen contradicts that criticism. “We pass on the exact locations of the boulders so that fishermen can take this into account 2015 we have already done this and then judges determined that the action was proportional and safe.

If the weather permits, the Dutch ship Esperanza will sail from the port of Hamburg to the Dogger Bank on Monday.

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