Green MEP backs campaign to stop dolphins dying in fishing gear in UK waters

Keith Taylor MEP, the Green Party’s Animals Spokesperson, joined campaigners in the European Parliament calling for more action on bycatch as a new scientific study reveals 4,000 dolphins were slaughtered as a result of fishing off the coast of Cornwall this spring.

Mr Taylor, the Vice President of the European Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroup, posed for photos at a campaign event hosted by Humane Society International, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and the Environmental Investigation Agency looking to raise awareness of the devastating impact of fishing practices on the welfare of various cetacean species.

He said:

“The number of dolphins slaughtered as a by-product of factory fishing is as astonishing as it is distressing. Urgent action and reform must be undertaken to stop the unnecessary bloodshed.”

Keith also raised concerns about the cetacean welfare implications of Michael Gove’s plans for the UK fishing industry post-Brexit.

Keith added:

“The distressing slaughter of thousands of dolphins is just one of the problems with the UK government’s insistence on handing over the vast majority of the country’s fishing quota to massive corporations at the expense of small-scale, sustainable fishing operations. More sustainable and ecologically sensitive operations are vital to local economies; for tackling the industrial overfishing of our oceans, and; are supported by EU funding.”

“But instead of promising a sea change in Britain’s fishing industry and a necessary shift in support away from corporate fishing fleets to local fishing communities and small-scale, sustainable activities, post-Brexit, Gove has promised an intensive fishing free-for-all which would see even more of these beautiful and intelligent creatures needlessly slaughtered, critically deplete fishing stocks, and hasten the destruction of our marine ecosystems.”