CCTV to Tackle Anti-Social Behaviour
A wild life charity and Sky Ocean Rescue call for remote electronic monitoring with cameras to help protect marine life.
09:52 21 November 2020
A recent report released by wildlife charity WWF and Sky Ocean Rescue reveals that hundreds of thousands of seabirds, seals, turtles and dolphins are accidentally caught in fishing nets and die in the process every year. They are now calling for remote electronic monitoring with cameras on fishing vessels to help address the problem.
The report highlights that at least 300,000 cetaceans such as dolphins, 345,000 seals and sealions, 720,000 seabirds, and more than 250,000 turtles are caught bycatch by commercial fisheries worldwide. Conservationists say that remote electronic monitoring (REM) with cameras fitted on vessels could help make fisheries sustainable and make sure fishermen are complying with legislation.
Helen McLachlan, programme manager, fisheries, at WWF-UK, said: “Nature is in freefall and we need urgent action to turn this around both on land and at sea.
“Effective monitoring of fisheries will help us understand their true impact on wildlife and in turn help minimise the needless death of millions of marine mammals, turtles, sharks and seabirds in fishing nets across our oceans every year.
“WWF is calling on the UK to demonstrate global leadership by adopting full monitoring with cameras across vessels fishing in our waters, including those fisheries known to be at high risk of wildlife bycatch.”
Fiona Ball, group director bigger picture, at Sky, said: “Putting the ocean on the path to recovery simply cannot wait, because the health of our oceans is inextricably linked to climate change.
“Through reports and technology like this, we will enable marine wildlife to thrive and improve the health of our waters.”
A spokesperson for the Environment Department (Defra) said: “We have a beautiful and diverse marine ecosystem, which is why we are working closely with fishermen to reduce accidental by-catch.
“We recently launched a call for evidence to examine whether monitoring technology could be used more widely on fishing boats operating in English waters, and our Fisheries Bill will soon set out policies to minimise by-catch and, where possible, eliminate it.”