The Dutch fishermen’s organisation, VisNed has filed a formal complaint against Greenpeace for willfully endangering fishermen.
The complaint has been lodged over the organisation’s dumping of three-tonne boulders in a Marine Protected Area, also known as an area of special conservation on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea.
Greenpeace has said that the action is being undertaken to stop fishing vessels that have been operating illegally in the area, a claim discounted by the DEFRA in the UK and a claim that has now been dismissed by VisNed.
In a press release the Dutch fishermen’s association’s director, Pim Visser wrote “National fisheries organization VisNed has filed a complaint against environmental organization Greenpeace on behalf of its members.
“To hinder fishing, Greenpeace has dumped large boulders on important fishing grounds on the Dogger Bank, a shallow sandbank in the middle of the North Sea.
“Greenpeace claims to do this to stop illegal fishing activity.
“However, there is no illegal fishing activity.
“Greenpeace stones pose a risk to fishermen; nets and harnesses can catch and be damaged. Should a rock land on board, the crew could be injured. The fishing on the Dogger Bank is, contrary to what Greenpeace claims, not illegal.
“Brussels procedures are underway to protect areas, Greenpeace, like everyone else, has to wait for this.
“The dumping of stones is prohibited in accordance with the OSPAR convention, an international convention aimed at protecting the environment. For dumping, also of natural materials, permission is required from the flag state of the ship concerned and the Greenpeace ship Esperanza sails under the Dutch flag.
“On the basis of this, interest group VisNed has filed a complaint against Greenpeace, it is up to the Public Prosecution Service to investigate the case further.”