Climate activists gather outside Dáil Eireann to call on government to protect our oceans 2 weeks ago

Climate activists gather outside Dáil Eireann to call on government to protect our oceans

Many people took to the streets to highlight the devastating environmental impact of over-fishing.

Extinction Rebellion activists marched through Dublin city centre on Monday, calling for the government to take immediate action against over-fishing.

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Protesters wore skeletal masks and black and white costumes as they dragged a mock-up fishing trawler and net through the streets.

The environmentalist group, along with Irish Wildlife Trust, is calling on the government to end bottom trawling methods in Irish waters.

Bottom trawling is the process of casting a large net and dragging it across the ocean floor to catch as much as possible.

The group marched from the Garden of Remembrance to Leinster House and on to the Department of Agriculture to raise awareness for the negative effect this method is having on the environment.

Activist Ceara Carney explained the protest to Her:

"One of the things we are are protesting today is bycatch. When our government allows huge fishing vessels to fish off the coast of Ireland they are most of the time doing something called bottom trawling, where two ships go along with huge nets in the middle.

"These nets are the size of one and a half football fields - one and a half Croke Parks - and it scrapes along the ocean floor and takes everything in its wake - from tuna to seals to dolphins. 40% of what's caught in the nets is discarded and this is called bycatch.

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"If all of those bycatch were all named and loved like Fungie, everyone would be furious and there'd be a huge protest descended on the Dáil over how cruel that is to discard what's caught in these nets."

She also said that this practice damages smaller fishing businesses as it can sometimes leave them with no fish to catch. Activists are calling on the government to end bottom trawling and support small fishermen in sustainable practices.

Irish Wildlife Trust officer, Padraic Doherty, said:

"It is no exaggeration that the ocean is on a knife-edge but authorities have yet to wake up to the threat this poses to us.

It shouldn't be so hard, yet nothing is being done and that has to change."

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