Fishermen in North Devon have condemned the unsustainable ravages of foreign trawlers wiping out the fish stocks right on their doorstep. The reopening of the Trevose Box fishing area between Newquay and Bude has spawned an invasion of French and Belgian fishing vessels, according to the North Devon Fishermens Association (NDFA), which fears foreign boats will wipe out the fishery. When the Gazette randomly checked the AIS Marine Traffic website last week, it showed some 15 fishing vessels in that area, of which one was British and the rest were Belgian. The 3,600 square mile area has been closed for two months to allow species such as cod, haddock, whiting, plaice and sole to spawn, but North Devon fishermen say many of the fish are still there spawning, or recovering. Bob Gotts, vice chairman of the NDFA, said: This huge amount of fishing activity is totally unsustainable. These fishing vessels will totally devastate this area, fishing 24 hours a day, nonstop. The Belgian trawlers only leave these grounds to land our fish and refuel or when they have wiped out the fishery. This is all being done in the name of conservation all thanks to the European Union and its Common Fisheries Policy. I ask, is this conservation, when future stocks of fish are being wiped out and inshore fishing communities are put at risk? The European boats are not breaking any laws, but NDFA chairman John Balls claimed that spawning areas were being plundered despite British fishermen having a gentlemens agreement to stay off the area. We are being ruled and regulated, but it just seems the foreign boats come and do their own thing. The NDFA says it has worked to create a sustainable fishery in the Bristol Channel, with the Lundy no take zone and a voluntary increase in the minimum landing size of ray. All this effort to conserve stocks and the marine environment while on our doorstep foreign fleets are wiping out our fish stocks on a huge scale, said Mr Gotts. The High Court has given the go-ahead for legal challenge to UK fishing quotas. A full judicial review into the Governments decision to give nearly the entire UK quota to domestic industrial and foreign corporations has been launched by Greenpeace. The environmental charity argues that fishing quotas should be used to protect thousands of jobs around the coast and maintain and improve fish stocks.