By Aaradhana 'Anya' Bharill, Blogger and Software Engineer
A ship was recently throwing very large rocks, called boulders, into the ocean in the waters of The United Kingdom. This ship belongs to Greenpeace, an organisation of environmental sustainability activists. Can you guess why they were doing this?
Greenpeace has built a new and unique underwater ‘boulder barrier’ 30 miles off the coast of Brighton (UK). This barrier will stop bottom trawling, a form of destructive industrial fishing. In the course of a few days, activists secretly placed granite boulders across 55 square miles of seabed, using the Greenpeace ship Esperanza.
The work had to be done in secret because the laws in The United Kingdom allow bottom trawling in 97 (so-called) Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). One such MPA is the offshore region of Brighton.
Bottom trawling involves dragging enormous fishing nets across the seabed, which disturbs the seabed and marine species’ ecosystem. Letting a bottom trawler fish in an area set up to protect the seabed is like letting a bulldozer plough through a protected forest!
In the past, Greenpeace’s boulder barriers have compelled the government to introduce full-bans and partial-bans on bottom trawling in certain MPAs. However, UK’s laws leave 97% of the protected waters partially or fully open to destructive fishing.