The MMO has responded news that Greenpeace intends to carry out more boulder dumps at sea in the South West Deeps

Poole Harbour Commissioners pull plug on Greenpeace loading boulders.  Photo: Greenpeace

Poole Harbour Commissioners have pulled the plug on Greenpeace plans to load boulders from their harbour on the south west coast of England.

Yesterday, Wednesday 07 September, Greenpeace defiantly announced that they would be loading more boulders from Poole Harbour that would then be dumped in the marine conservation zone of the South West Deeps approximately 170 kilometres off Land’s End.

In a press release today, Jim Stewart, the Chief Executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners said:

“Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) operate a trust port responsible for the management of the Port of Poole and Poole Harbour.

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On Wednesday 7th September the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise berthed in the Port of Poole for the purposes of crew change and taking on supplies.  PHC were subsequently advised that Greenpeace wished to load a cargo of boulders on the 8th of September, which PHC understand were to be deposited in an area controlled by the Marine Management Organisation, an executive body sponsored by the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

PHC subsequently received an email from the MMO instructing PHC not to allow the loading of the boulders in the port and we have been advised that failure to comply with this instruction could result in criminal charges being brought against PHC.

PHC have therefore complied with this instruction. Following discussions with Dorset Police, PHC PHC are willing to offer the use of PHC facilities for a peaceful demonstration and Greenpeace press conference, should they so wish.”

Responding to the news from Poole Harbour Commissioners, fisheries consultant Terri Portmann said:

“It is a great outcome that the Port of Poole has taken this decision. Greenpeace was really clear in their public posts that they were intending to load boulders, and then go and break the law some more. It is right that those aiding and abetting Greenpeace in their reckless and unlawful endeavors should be held to account but if I am honest, I had no idea when I started tweeting Poole Harbour Commissioners, the MMO and MCA yesterday that anyone would listen. 
“This sends a clear message to Greenpeace that their unlawful endeavours are not welcome here in the UK. But the MMO and MCA now need to enlist appropriately experienced legal teams to prosecute the unlawful dumpings that took place last week and not put themselves in the same position as last time where legal teams acting for the MMO couldn’t even make the public interest test argument properly. Fishermen are pursued vigorously by the MMO and MCA, we need to see the same appetite directed at Greenpeace. Just because they are an NGO and well funded, doesn’t mean the MMO and MCA should shirk their statutory responsibilities.”
In response to the action taken by Poole Harbour Commissioners, Greenpeace UK tweeted:
“The government has blocked Greenpeace activists from protecting UK oceans. They’ve threatened the port authority with legal action if they let us pick up a new shipment of boulders. Why are they wasting public time and money going after ocean defenders?”
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