Saturday, October 16, 2004

You really want know how our fish stocks are being destroyed?

This is what you need to read. It is in today's EU Referendum. Here is a taster.

It was about 5.30 in the morning, perhaps ten miles off Barrow-in-Furness in the eastern part of the Irish Sea, still dark, when the haul broke the surface.

In the glare of the floodlights on the stern of our vessel, the Fleetwood trawler Kiroan, the first net was hooked onto the power block – a huge hydraulic lifting arm – and skipper Philip Dell expertly pulled the bulging cod end from the water and swung it over the fish room hatch.

Philip held the bag there, suspended, so we could see thousands of tiny fish packed into the bag. Most of what we could see was small plaice, with scores of them protruding though the narrow mesh, gasping and flapping in their death throes.

An unseen hand below pulled the quick release on the end of the bag. The contents cascaded down a stainless steel chute onto the conveyor belt in the fish room, awaiting our further inspection.

We stayed on deck long enough to see the second bag plucked from the sea, its contents likewise dumped down the chute. Then I, Conservative shadow fisheries minister Owen Paterson, and the PPC for Blackpool North and Fleetwood, Gavin Williams, squeezed our way along the top deck, stepping over the still taut warp cables, and made our way down the vertical ladder to watch the crew sorting the fish.

As the first batch was sorted, we watched in mounting horror as Mate, Francois Bruneel with Steve McDaid and Gary Hugman, the enormously impressive crew, threw marketable fish into red plastic bins – not unlike laundry baskets – sweeping the rest, undersize and unmarketable fish along the belt.

Lubricated by a constant flow of sea water, they were flushed through a small opening in the hull, back into the sea, dead and dying, from whence they had so recently been plucked.That was the horror. From that first, bulging net, the harvest of the sea, we estimated that at least ninety percent of the catch was dumped – or "discarded" in the clinical jargon of the trade.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

BNP website brought down very quietly by Hackarmy

Scotland’s Daily Record had a political scoop in its Friday 9 October edition Hackers blitz BNP website. A group called Hackarmy issued a statement to the paper claiming responsibility for shutting down the British National Party’s [BNP] website. It said: “The British National Party is a disgrace. It has been decided that their online existence will now be put to an end. We have started a distributed denial of service attack on their main website.”

The story was picked up by Google and distributed by them on 9 October at 3.22am. Subsequent searches of the web, however, finds just one other reference to this story as at 11.54 am 10 October.

The BNP has been the recipient of substantial media coverage and the lack of follow up to this story seems unusual.

Could it be that media outlets have taken the decision not to give the oxygen of publicity to either the BNP or to Hackarmy? Could it be that Hackarmy has succeeded in freezing comment about its activities by a media frightened at the prospect of interference with their own computer systems?


1. Hackers blitz BNP website [Daily Record 9 October 2004]

Monday, October 04, 2004