Thank you for getting in touch about foreign super trawler activities in UK waters, including Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
I know that the Government and Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are acutely aware of the situation as outlined by Greenpeace’s investigation and report. MPAs are a firm demonstration of our commitment to our natural world and oceans and I have always urged the Government to take necessary action to protect them.
The Marine Management Organisation continues to collect information on the activities of supertrawlers and other vessels in British waters, advise the Government of the impacts of this and take enforcement action wherever necessary. I am aware that the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy restricts our ability to implement more robust protections, but doing so is very much in the scope of policy makers as we look to leave the EU and is a priority for DEFRA.
Furthermore, the Government is actively considering the ‘Benyon review’, undertaken by predecessor Richard Benyon, which would seek to introduce Highly Marine Protected Areas. I welcome the strong findings and ideas of this review and I will continue to urge the Government to ensure that they are given all of the consideration it deserves.