Thursday, November 03, 2005

Greenpeace loses another battle

A SECOND attempt by environmental group Greenpeace to challenge Defra’s measures to reduce dolphin bycatch in the South West of England was rejected by the Court of Appeal yesterday (Oct 31)Greenpeace appealed against the earlier dismissal of its judicial review claim against the prohibition introduced by Defra on pair trawling for bass within 12 miles of the South Westcoast.Marine and Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw, said:“I am extremely pleased that the Courts have found in our favour on this issue. The Courts have once more confirmed that my department acted lawfully and with the genuine intention of reducing dolphin bycatch.

This message was clear in the original judgmentwhich rejected Greenpeace’s judicial review claim, so I am surprised that Greenpeace wasted more time and their members’ money taking this to the Court Of Appeal.“We have done more than any other country to tackle the dolphin bycatch problem in the South West and I remain committed to encouraging effective European Community action to tackle the problem of dolphin bycatch.”Greenpeace appealed against judgment handed down on 10 October 2005 dismissing its judicial review claim against Defra.

This claim related to the introduction, by Defra in December 2004, of a prohibition within 12 miles of the SW coast on the use of pair trawls to catch bass. This was a fishery which had been observed through UK research to have a bycatch of common dolphins. The pair trawl fishery for bass takes place in the Winter and Spring. The UK has two pairs of vessels in the fishery; France around 20 pairs.Defra say that since the 12 mile closure was introduced, bycatch in the pair trawl fishery reduced from 429 deaths in 2003/04 to around 140 in the latest season, 2004/05.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"