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Greenpeace Pressure To Stop Factory Trawlers

Amsterdam, 27th June 2001 --- Greenpeace today demanded the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to deny Norwegian and foreign factory trawlers the permission to enter Norwegian fishing grounds. Greenpeace activists holding a 100 square meters large trawling net and banners reading “Stop the factory trawlers” waited for the Norwegian Prime Minister to leave a governmental meeting scheduled for today in Bodö.

“We can no longer stand still watching while Norway allows industrial factory trawlers to catch huge amounts of small fish and re-flag their vessels as they please, in order to fish outside set quotas”, said Frode Pleym, Greenpeace campaigner in Bodö.

The fish caught by these Norwegian and foreign factory trawlers is mainly cod, which is frozen and ends up on markets across Europe.

While the Norwegian government claims that whaling activities are necessary for the survival of the coastal communities in Norway, Greenpeace showed in a report that a revised fishery’s policy should be the priority for the government and would have more positive impact on the economies of the coastal communities (1).

Last week, Greenpeace prevented the Russian-flagged factory trawler Arctic Corsair, owned by the British shipping company Boyd Line, from leaving for the Barents Sea to fish small cod (2). The action was part of Greenpeace activities in support of coastal fisheries in Norway.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) has estimated that 70% of the world’s fish stock is either fully exploited, overexploited or in crisis. Over the past three years, ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) scientists have recommended a relatively small catch of cod in order to save the stock from depletion, since the cod stock today is at a level that is not biologically sustainable.

“It is inadmissible that Norway allows fishing quotas to factory trawlers that catch fish too small to have reproduced. Allowing a British factory trawler to fish on both EU and Russian quotas over the same year shows total disregard for scientists’ recommendations to protect stocks”, said Pleym. “Once all the fish is gone, it will be too late to act, and the coastal communities will pay the price”.

Like many other factory trawlers, the Arctic Corsair is producing fish for fillet onboard. This has a negative impact on land-based industries dependent on fishing and in the long run endangers coastal communities as a whole. Greenpeace argues that the Norwegian coastal fleet should be receiving the resources instead.

For more information, contact: Frode Pleym, campaigner Greenpeace Nordic, + 47 95 80 49 50 Ulrika Tenlid, Press Officer, + 46 8 702 70 73, + 46 70 668 70 70

For pictures and video, contact: Pernilla Svenberg, + 46 70 397 66 71

(1) The report can be found in Norwegian on { HYPERLINK "" } Click on “Hav”. (2) Greenpeace has documentation showing that most of the fish caught in May was fish which had not had time to reproduce.


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