Target: Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales
Goal: Commend Welsh government for cracking down on illegal fisherman
The government of Wales has ordered a fisherman found guilty of illegal fishing to pay a fine of £50,000. The fisherman was caught dredging for scallops in a protected area of ocean habitat critical for marine mammals. The confiscated catch has an estimated value more than £400,000. According to the guilty fisherman, Mark Powell, many other fisherman commonly fish in the same protected area. We should commend the Welsh government for taking steps to crack down on this type of environmentally destructive illegal fishing.
Powell’s boat was a state-of the art dredger. Dredging is a particularly destructive method of fishing because it destroys the sensitive seabed ecosystem. The protected area where Powell was caught was important habitat for marine mammals such as dolphins.
Powell was caught and pled guilty to numerous offenses of fishing in an illegal area. According to the judge, Powell knew Cardigan Bay well and was clearly aware that he was fishing in a protected area. The ship’s tracking system had been turned off while engaging in illegal trawling, making it harder for authorities to detect. After being caught, Powell declared, “I’m not doing anything that the other boats aren’t doing.”
Environmentally destructive illegal fishing in the waters around Wales is an ongoing problem. Fishermen like Mark Powell are used to getting away with illegal catches and making big profits at the expense of the marine environment. Fortunately, in this case a Royal Navy patrol boat caught Powell in the act and helped bring him to justice. Hopefully this will act as a deterrent for other illegal fishing operations. Please sign this petition to commend the government of Wales for helping to protect the marine environment by cracking down on illegal fishing.
Dear Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales:
I am writing to commend the government of Wales for its recent crackdown on illegal fishing. Hopefully the prosecution of Mark Powell, which included the imposition of heavy fines, will act as a deterrent to other fisherman who engage in illegal fishing. These illegal practices, including dredging in protected areas, are extremely destructive to the marine ecosystem surrounding Wales.
I am pleased that your government has prioritized the protection of sensitive marine areas. I encourage you to continue to prosecute other fisherman who engage in illegal fishing operations in order to make big profits at the expense of the oceans of Wales.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: NASAs via Wikimedia Commons