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Puffins threatened by overfishing of European boats in UK waters after Brexit, RSPB warns | UK News

Overfishing by Scandinavian boats in UK waters threatens the puffin, wildlife conservation groups say.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has renewed its calls for “urgent action” to curb the fishing practices of boats from countries like Denmark and Norway.

Under EU quota agreements that have continued Brexit, foreign fishing vessels have almost exclusive access to sandeel fishing off the British coasts.

A Farne Islands puffin holds fish in its beak.  Arctic terns, puffins, murres and nesting cormorants all suffered losses due to heavy rainfall on the Farne Islands earlier this month, with chicks and puffins (baby puffins) being the most vulnerable.  125 mm of precipitation fell in just 24 hours on June 13, 2019, five times more than the whole of June of the previous year (24.8 mm).
Puffins threatened by European overfishing in UK waters

Sandeel is the staple food for Atlantic puffins and other seabirds, but its supply has already been affected by climate change.

Environmentalists say warming seas have led to a reduction in numbers near the coast and have warned that systematic overfishing is depriving more species, like puffins, already threatened with extinction.

Alex Kinninmonth, responsible for maritime policy at RSPB in Scotland, told Sky News: “Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sandeel are removed from the North Sea each year, impacting seabirds and other wildlife. “

“For many years there has been a huge industrial fishery in the North Sea, mainly for boats from Denmark and a few from Sweden and other EU countries.”

“It is an industrial fishery, not for human consumption. It is broken down into fishmeal and fish oil which go into all kinds of industrial processes like agricultural feed and fertilizers.”

“There is a big problem with this because it conflicts with wildlife conservation. There are far too many fish being taken out of the sea and not enough to maintain thriving seabird populations.

baby puffin: EU fishing causes loss of puffin population
Puffins depend on sand eels to feed their chicks

“One of the options available to UK ministers is to manage our fisheries in our own waters after Brexit, so that we can close UK waters to sandeel …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-25 23:51:00

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