Sunday, November 06, 2005

Greenpeace loses second battle...but not the war on dolphin case!

The Court of Appeal has rejected the second attempt by Greenpeace to challenge Defra’s dolphin bycatch measures in the South West. This week’s appeal dismissal followed an earlier judgement against Greenpeace’s judicial review claim, in October. Defra introduced a measure in December 2004 prohibiting the use of pair trawlers to catch bass within twelve miles off the SW coast. The UK operates two pairs of vessels in region, and France has around twenty pairs.

The limited ban was designed to remove trawlers from a bycatching hotspot. However, Greenpeace opposed Defra’s measures, claiming that the decision would jeopardise more dolphins by moving trawlers into more heavily populated waters. In addition, the environmental group has called for a complete ban to be imposed on the practice of pair trawling.

"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,” said Marine and Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw yesterday, in response to the judgement. "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," added Mr. Bradshaw.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"