PARIS (AP), France is investigating why a large swarm of dead fish were released by a huge trawler into the Atlantic Ocean off France. This investigation was initiated after an environmental group released dramatic photos and video.
Sea Shepherd captured images of a blanket of dead bluewhiting fish floating in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of southwest France. It was estimated to have held around 100,000 dead fish.
Annick Girardin, French Maritime Minister, tweeted Friday that she was shocked by the images and ordered the National Center for Fishing Surveillance (NCFS) to investigate.
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 type of accident is rare. It was caused by the unusually large size and weight of the fish caught. 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 whether it was an accident or an intentional dump. Sea Shepherd is calling for more regulation of the oceans, especially large industrial trawlers, to protect marine life and oceans.