Fishing fleets that supply major UK and European consumer brands are using giant bottom trawlers in the northern Barents Sea around Svalbard, an area known as the ‘Arctic Galapagos’.
Greenpeace research, using satellite data and field work, has implicated the suppliers of well-known brands Birdseye, Findus and Young’s, as well as those delivering to fish and chips shops across the UK.
Bottom trawling is a highly destructive fishing method, which is already responsible for damaging up to half of Norway’s cold water corals reefs, said Greenpeace. At least 70% of all the Atlantic cod that ends up in supermarkets around the world is from the Barents Sea.
Greenpeace suggested that any company buying cod from the Barents Sea risks “having their supply chain tainted with Arctic destruction”.
“Some of the world’s biggest seafood brands are unwittingly buying cod from this vulnerable area,” said the NGO’s expert Trillia Fidei.
“We’re asking them to get tough with their suppliers to ensure the northern part of the Barents Sea is off limits to giant fishing bottom trawlers.”