Giant Trawler Causes Concern For Irish Fishing Grounds

The gigantic super trawler Annelies Ilena has made steady progress up the Irish Sea in the past few days and may now be heading for the Atlantic waters north of Donegal.

“It has passed the west of the Isle of Man and seems to be heading to the North Channel,” said Bernard Moffat, Celtic League.

He added: “Our prediction three days ago when we started tracking it in the English Channel, that it might be heading to grounds off Donegal where a similar vessel has been operating, may yet be vindicated.

[caption id="attachment_59939" align="alignleft" width="390"]The super trawler Annielies Llena causing concern as it fishing of the West coast and north of Donegal. The super trawler Annielies Llena causing concern as it fishing of the West coast and north of Donegal.[/caption]

“Off Donegal, the Margaris only slightly smaller than the Annelies Ilena, has been fishing for days not even deterred by Storm Abigail which battered western Ireland and Scotland. Such is the size of these vessels nothing seems to deter them

“This vessel and the Margaris not only have the capacity to process vast tonnages of fish and also waste fish in the form of discards. They may also pose a threat to marine mammals such as dolphins and seals.

“We have just tracked the Annielies Llena to north Donegal and it seems to be conducting a search for a large shoal of fish to deploy its net. The size of this net is enormous it could easily accommodative 13 JUMBO JETS.”

The Celtic League is an alliance of fishing stakeholders and interests in the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man who champion sustainable fishing and environmental sustainability and fishing safety, and campaign for more transparency on submarine activity in the Irish Sea.

Mr Moffat added: “Celtic League is of the opinion that these vessels activities definitely need to be curbed and I will be suggesting to the General Secretary of the Celtic League that he write to the British, French and Irish governments seeking some EU initiative on these vessels because of the damage they cause to the fishing grounds.

“Irish authorities say they can only monitor their activities but other countries have kicked them out including Australia.

“This very informative video (30 mins length) on Youtube covers the seizure of the Annelies Ilena prior to it being ejected Australian waters (link).

“Irish authorities should wake up to the damage being wrought by these leviathans not only to their fish stocks but the whole eco-system of these Islands,” said Mr Moffat.