British coastguards said on Friday they had intervened to stop a confrontation at sea between Greenpeace protesters and trawlermen because of fears people could be killed.
LONDON British coastguards said on Friday they had intervened to stop a confrontation at sea between Greenpeace protesters and trawlermen because of fears people could be killed.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it had issued warnings to Greenpeace, which had accused the trawlermen of killing dolphins while fishing for sea bass, and four British trawlers, Ocean Crest, Ocean Dawn, Ocean Star and Sunrise.
"The lives of both protesters and fishermen have been endangered, collision regulations have been given low priority, international distress signals have been misused, and metallic buoys with hazardous chains and grapnel hooks have been dumped at sea," the agency said in a statement.
Greenpeace said it had been tracking trawlers, placing swimmers in front of them and attaching inflatable buoys to their nets to prevent them fishing.
French and British sea bass trawlermen could be killing more than 2,000 dolphins a year, said the environmental group.
"This needless destruction of the dolphin population must stop and because the governments won't stop it, it's up to us," Greenpeace protester Sarah Duthie said in a statement from on board the group's Dutch-registered ship Esperanza.
Greenpeace estimates 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed in fishing nets worldwide each year.