Reading time: 2 minutes
The world’s second largest fishing vessel, the Dutch trawler FV Margiris, has dumped 100,000 dead fish in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of France.
Marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd has shared live video footage of covering 3,000 square meters of dead fish online.
Footage of the oil spill and the vessel Margiris, captured 180km off the French coast, caught the attention of French Navy Minister Annick Girardin.
In a Tweet, Girardin called the footage “shocking” and said the practice did not reflect France’s commitment to “sustainable fishing”.
She has since called for an investigation into the incident.
A floating “fish factory”
The trawler net extends 600 meters by 200 meters when fully deployed. It’s big enough to park several planes next to each other, without their wings touching.
This practice of bottom trawling is widely criticized by ecologists for its links to habitat destruction and biodiversity loss.
The trawler Margiris was forced out of Australian waters in 2012, due to concerns about its effects on local fish stocks. This resulted in a ban on its operations.
The ship acts as a giant fish factory. He catches the fish and processes them on board, rather than unloading his catch in a port.
The spill of blue whiting, the animal often used to produce fish sticks, is believed to have been caused by a broken trawler net.
“Such an accident is a rare event, and in this case it was caused by the unexpected size of the fish caught,” said Pelagic Freezer-Trawler Association, which represents the trawler.
Sea Shepherd suspects otherwise and wondered if the animals were intentionally left for other purposes.
Following news of the fish spill, vegan activist Ed Winters, also known as Earthing Ed, took to social media to post his thoughts.
On Instagram, Winters spoke about issues within the fishing industry beyond environmental concerns.
He said: “What is ignored is the fact that each of those 100,000 blue whiting was a sentient individual who suffered from being needlessly ensnared in a net and killed.”
According to PETA, the fishing industry is the biggest killer of animals in the world. It is estimated that more than a trillion fish die at the hands of humans each year.
Can you give us a hand? Over the past six years, the team behind Plant Based News has worked tirelessly to create high-quality, high-impact content that sparks dialogue and evolves the conversation around agriculture, public health, animal welfare and the climate crisis.
Over 2.8 million fans from over 100 countries read, share, engage and connect with what we cover – and that number keeps growing.
Unearthing facts often buried deep by leading (and sometimes unethical) organizations, we pride ourselves on being completely independent of commercial scrutiny.
Perhaps most importantly, we keep our content free – because everyone should have access to these discussions and have the opportunity to participate in these discussions.
In the age of information, where internet users are bombarded with stories and messages about money, keeping content stimulating, moving and above all honest accessible to everyone is at the heart of what we do.
Our goal, of course, is for as many communities as possible to engage with our reporting and open the minds of people around the world.
This is where you come in. If you are able to do so, please consider supporting us from as little as $1, as a one-time or ongoing donation. Any amount helps us continue our mission and keep the content free, for everyone.