PARIS (AP), France and the European Union are investigating the release of a large number of dead fish by a huge trawler off the coast of France. The incident was captured on video by an environmental group.
Sea Shepherd took these images of a blanket of dead bluewhitingfish floating on the Bay of Biscay, near the coast of south-west France. According to the group, it contained around 100,000 dead fish.
Annick Girardin, French Minister of Maritime, was so shocked by the images that she tweeted Friday to say that she had ordered the National Center for Fishing Surveillance investigate the incident.
Virginijus Sinkeviius (European commissioner for environment, oceans, and fisheries) announced an inquiry into the national authorities in the fishing area and the presumed flag state, to gather all the evidence.
The Pelagic Freezer-Trawler Association represents Margiris, a Lithuania-registered fishing boat. It stated that the fish were released involuntarily into the sea on Thursday after a tear was made in the net.
This is a rare accident. In this case, the unexpectedly large fish caught was the cause. It stated that the trawler had modified its practices to cope with the extraordinary size of the fish found in the area.
Sea Shepherd, however, asked if it was an accident or an intentional dump. The group calls for increased policing of seas, and in particular large industrial trawlers, in order to protect oceans and sea life.