EU super-trawlers to be banned from plundering fish from British waters

EU super-trawlers are to be banned from plundering fish from British waters.

Ministers will demonstrate they are back in full control of our coasts with a post-Brexit crackdown on factory ships.

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The vast vessels — often longer than a football pitch — use nets up to one-mile in length to catch hundreds of tons of fish every day.

But they have been blamed for large numbers of dead dolphins and porpoises washed up on our shores.

Brits also complain they dominate the main fishing grounds, making it difficult for them to compete.

The Government has already banned pulse trawling — another method favoured by European fishing fleets.

This controversial technique uses electrical signals to drive flat fish — such as sole — from the seabed into nets.

Yet there are fears it harms marine environment and larger species — such as cod, haddock and whiting — by causing their spines to break.

The British fishing industry does not own super-trawlers but, as the restrictions would apply equally to UK and EU fleets, this will not breach the Brexit deal. MPs believe it exerts control without breaking the quotas agreed.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “For far too long, too many large trawlers have destroyed many of our fishing areas.”

Super-trawlers spent 3,000 hours fishing in UK marine protected areas in 2019 — with more than 1,000 porpoises dying in their nets.

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