• May 15, 2016

We can report that one year after what was described as a historic International ruling to curb the activities of the so called monster trawlers from devastating fish stocks and displacing the livelihood of indigenous communities the EU has still not acted to implant the judgements.

In the spring of last year the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, affirmed that “flag States” have a duty of due diligence to ensure that fishing vessels flying their flag comply with relevant laws and regulations concerning marine resources and that these vessels are not engaged in illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in the waters of member countries of West Africa’s Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SFRC) (News report at this link):


However for the past two weeks we have been monitoring the activities of the massive 10,000 tonne Lithuanian registered Margiris a vessel capable of processing several hundred tonnes of fish per day as it has systemically trawled the waters of Mauritania one of the poorest countries in West Africa.

To compound matters the vessel has been working an area just offshore from one of the worlds finest National Parks and Marine Reserves the Parc Nacional du Banc d’Arguin (link):


One can only imagine what devastation this activity is having on the balance of the eco-system of the area and the economic impact on the local fishing community which survives on a subsistence income.

However as we have reported its not just the distant waters of West Africa that are being devastated we also recently plotted a series of super trawlers working an area from off S W Ireland to the North Hebrides and already indications are that this rapacious activity is impacting both economic, marine and bird life on the West coasts of these Islands.

I have today asked the Celtic League General Secretary to write to the EU Commission President and the EU Fisheries Commissioners and urge action to address this problem.

Image: Bakau fish market, The Gambia. The subsistence incomes of these communities is threatened by super trawlers from the EU that also wreak devastation closer to home.


Issued by: The Manx branch of the Celtic League

TEL: 01624 877918 or 07624 491609



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries including our own Mannin branch. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

The link for the main web pages is below:


Mannin Branch Celtic League's photo.
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