Four Greenpeace activists who have been preventing an Australian-bound super-trawler from leaving a port in the Netherlands were arrested on Tuesday.
"THIS morning we arrested four people: two men and two women who were preventing the ship's departure," Evy Elschot told AFP from Ijmuiden, 30km northeast of Amsterdam.
The Lithuanian-flagged FV Margiris, which is to be re-flagged as Australian and deployed to catch baitfish off Tasmania, was stopped by the Greenpeace team on June 27 as it tried to leave the Dutch port.
The 143-metre, 9,500-tonne Margiris is one of the world's largest fishing trawlers, and has been accused by Greenpeace in the past of over-fishing off West Africa.
Activists hung on cables between the quay and the ship and put a chain around the trawler's propeller.
"We first asked the activists to leave the boat, which did not happen," said Elschot, adding the activists were then arrested "but remained calm."
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The illegal Greenpeace activities should be condemned. There is absolutely no justifiable reason to sabotage the Australian bound fishing vessel:
Australian Fisheries Management Authority has dismissed over-fishing concerns, saying the Margiris would have little if any impact on the broader eco-system with strict catch limits in place.
According to AFMA the trawler will be allowed to catch just 10 percent of available fish - a highly precautionary figure it says is well below international standards.