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Last Updated: Monday, 28 February, 2005, 11:54 GMT
Sea demo pair in path of trawlers
Greenpeace demo
Greenpeace demonstrators face one of the trawlers
Two Greenpeace protesters have put themselves in the path of a pair of trawlers in the English Channel, in a demonstration against dolphin killing.

The protesters, one French and one English, were in front of two trawlers on Monday, 30 miles off Plymouth.

They wore diving gear and were unharmed as the trawlers steamed past, their wake pushing the protesters away.

Pair trawlers hunting bass drag huge nets between them in which dolphins can accidentally get caught and drown.

The practice has been banned within 12 miles of the British coast since September 2004.

Greenpeace demo
A protester is unharmed as the trawler steams past
But Greenpeace wants the ban extended to 200 miles and has mounted a legal challenge in the High Court.

The two swimmers, a Frenchwoman and Englishman, clad in drysuits and holding on to buoys with flags emblazoned Stop Killing Dolphins, entered the water at about 1430GMT on Saturday.

The swimmers were picked up by a Greenpeace inflatable boat before activists continued the demonstration by trying to attach buoys to the fishing net with wire and hooks.

Greenpeace spokesman Niall Bennett, on board the support ship Esperanza, said: "We have put people in front of other boats before but never a beam trawler.

"It is up to us to make a stand because the government has failed to."

Greenpeace wants the government to investigate which other fishing methods are also killing dolphins and porpoises and take action.

The Esperanza will be continuing its campaign in the Channel for the next two weeks.

Fisheries minister and Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw said when the ban was introduced it was a significant start which should have a positive effect on reducing the number of dead dolphins.

More than 300 dolphin and porpoise carcasses were found on beaches in the South West in the year 2002-2003.

Pair trawler crews have always denied they are responsible for the mammals' deaths.




SEE ALSO:
Charity ship to monitor trawling
17 Feb 05 |  Cornwall
Spotlight on dolphin deaths
22 Jan 04 |  Cornwall
Dolphin deaths fear
13 Jan 04 |  Devon
MPs tackle dolphin deaths
03 Dec 03 |  Devon
Nets 'kill 800 cetaceans a day'
13 Jun 03 |  Science/Nature


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