Revealed: 97% of UK offshore marine parks subject to destructive fishing

Revealed: 97% of UK offshore marine parks subject to destructive fishing

Vessels spent 200,000 hours in 2019 bottom trawling or dredging the seabed in protected areas set up to safeguard vital ecosystems

More than 97% of British marine protected areas, created to safeguard ocean habitats, are being dredged and bottom trawled, according to data shared with the Guardian.

Nearly a quarter of the UK’s territorial waters are covered by MPAs, set up to protect vital ecosystems and species, including harbour porpoises and dolphins. This network of parks is a symbol of the government’s “world leading” target to protect 30% of ocean biodiversity by 2030.

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