Supertrawler Margiris: ‘a Death Star in the galaxy’

A former crew-member of the supertrawler Margiris spills the beans to Blue Planet Society. The following words were received by us via social media and are unedited.
The giant supertrawler Margiris fishing just 14 miles off Brighton, UK in October 2019. Credit: ITV News.

‘It was run by a Dutch operation. The bycatch was insane going after Bonito off the coast of Mauritania. Captain threw all the garbage overboard. It was an absolute catastrophe. These gargantuan nets have no mercy. I worked on the Bering Sea commercial fishing and that was closely monitored by the US Coast Guard. Not this one. There was little accountability.

She was trying to get permission to fish off Georges Bank and have port of call in Gloucester. Local communities throughout New England protested heavily. Portland, Maine slammed the door on her too. Then she went to Australia and was chained up by the government. This monster is a Death Star in the galaxy. I am so glad this thing has faced so much protest.

The vessel is so long that its hull flexed and chains powering conveyor belts snapped. It is an engineering disaster that was originally built as a trash incinerator. Since day one out of the shipyard this vessel has been trying to destroy the atmosphere and the ocean.

Everything was palletized in the freezer. Cranes were used to offload. We were ordered to stay inside and quarantined after haul back. I snuck out the side and saw the bycatch. There was a pod of dolphins scooped up. That is when I knew it was time to go. I did not have access to my camcorder, but if I had it would have been confiscated.

That’s about all I have. I witnessed an entirely different irresponsible fishery on that trawler. No observer. Just thugs from Holland running this show.’

Dolphin bycatch in a supertrawler net. Credit: Greenpeace.

Blue Planet Society are campaigning for better regulation of the pelagic supertrawler fleet and to stop the slaughter of dolphins by the fishing industry. Please sign our petition here.

You can also support our work against dolphin bycatch and raise awareness with a T-shirt or Top here.

Margiris is the world’s second largest fishing vessel and owned by the Dutch company Parlevliet & van der Plas.