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Baltic Sea Campaign has Officially Started

Saturday, Jul 08, 2017

From July 1st until the end of September the Emanuel Bronner and the fastboat Sierra will be patrolling different areas of the Baltic Sea. The main goal of the campaign is the protection of the endangered harbour porpoises that often die in the gillnets of fishermen.

Campaign leader Manuel Abraas, Skipper Borris Plautz and Alex Cornelissen on board the Emanuel Bronner. Photo Sea Shepherd Germany.

Illegal nets will be documented and reported to the local authorities. The patrols will also help to monitor the threats for the endangered porpoises and to retrieve deadly ghostnets.

“We are highly motivated and are very excited about our first sea- and landbased campaign in Germany”, campaign leader Manuel Abraas said. “A big thanks to all our supporters and especially to Dr. Bronner’s, this campaign wouldn’t have been possible without their help.”

The endangered harbour porpoises are considered to be particularly protected under EU law, and the member states are obliged to take measures to ensure this protection in the natural habitats of the harbour porpoises is upheld. Nevertheless, by exemption regulations the use of gillnets is allowed in FFH-areas and nature sanctuaries. Harbour porpoises often end up as bycatch in these nets and drown. Thus, Germany violates the protective laws of the EU!

Alex Cornelissen, CEO of Sea Shepherd Global, visited one of the base camps prior to the start of the campaign. “The Emanuel Bronner is the perfect ship to protect the harbor porpoises in the Baltic Sea. With one population already endangered, time is critical and action is needed. Sea Shepherd's latest addition to the fleet will no doubt save wildlife and detect and stop illegal activities.”

Sea Shepherd demands and immediate and complete ban of gillnets in the Baltic Sea as well as the establishment of real sanctuaries for harbour porpoises and all other marine animals.

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