East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight has called on the Government to ensure that tuna fishermen adopt fishing methods which are ‘dolphin and turtle friendly’.
Currently, tuna fishing can result in dolphins and turtles becoming entangled in nets, which is a significant threat to them and other marine species.
There are numerous ways tuna fisherman can protect sea-life including compulsory reporting of bycatch and safe handling practices, such as the disentangling and releasing of turtles, the use of line cutters and utilising dehooking devices for turtles.
In Parliament, Sir Greg has asked Government Ministers to encourage the use of such practices.
Responding, Environment Minister Victoria Prentis said that the UK continues to press for the establishment of strong measures within international Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). Furthermore, she adds that as a result of leaving the EU, the UK will shortly become a member of RFMOs in its own right which will provide us with an enhanced opportunity to press for stronger and more effective protection for vulnerable species to be adopted at an international level.
Sir Greg said: “Tuna fishing is an important contribution to our food supply. But as with any fishing it is important that it does not cause significant harm to vulnerable sea life. I am pleased that the Government is making the case internationally for sensible changes which will make a big difference to dolphins and sea turtles”.