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27
Feb
2006

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, Australia Pacific Coordinator, Lyn Goldsworthy told the participants at the international Sharing the Fish Conference today, that all states have a legal responsibility and obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment of the deep seas. “Arguments against a global moratorium on high seas bottom trawling, because it would be difficult to enforce are just not acceptable,” she said.

Continue reading Legal obligation to track bottom trawling now

17
Feb
2006

The international fisheries meeting in Wellington today ended disappointingly with states failing to take any action to protect life in the deep sea from the destruction caused by high seas bottom trawling. Scientists are warning that species are being pushed to extinction by high seas bottom trawling before they’ve even been named. “Environment groups and thousands of people from around the world called on states to take urgent action and issue a temporary ban on bottom trawling in the international waters of the South Pacific while negotiations are under way,” said Cath Wallace of the Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ (ECO) “Instead they have chosen to sit on their hands and sacrifice deep-sea life while talks continue for many years.” “The failure to implement a temporary ban again shows that Regional Fisheries Management Organisations are unable to deal with the destruction of life in the deep sea.

Continue reading Bottom trawling continues unrestricted as international fisheries meeting ends

13
Feb
2006

Two key meetings are taking place this week which will set the course for the protection of biodiversity on the high seas. Starting today in New York, the UN General Assembly’s ‘Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction’ (Biodiversity Working Group) will begin to examine a number of serious gaps in international oceans law. As a result of these gaps, for example, bottom trawl fishing in 75% of the high seas is virtually unregulated.

Continue reading Protection for High Seas Biodiversity – Time to Get Serious

12
Jan
2006

A national poll released today jointly by Greenpeace and the Ecology Action Centre shows 78.3% of Canadians believe that Canada should reverse its current position on high seas bottom trawling and support a moratorium on the fishing practice in international waters – even if it may cost jobs. “This is an overwhelming response to an extremely destructive fishing practice. In refusing to call for a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling Geoff Regan and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are out of step with Canadians and are out of touch with the scientific evidence,” said Bruce Cox, Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada. “Over 78% of Canadians and 1136 scientists say they support a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling. The question during this federal election is why doesn’t Geoff Regan and the Canadian government?” The United Kingdom, Mexico and Brazil are among some of the countries that currently support an international call for a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.

Continue reading Overwhelming Support for High Seas Bottom Trawling Moratorium

6
Jan
2006

A new study published in Nature has revealed serious declines in deep water species targeted for commercial fishing in the Northwest Atlantic. The study examined population trends in five species of deep water fish along the continental slope in the Atlantic waters of Canada caught in research trawl surveys between the period 1978 and 1994. Of those studied, two species – the roundnose grenadier and the onion-eye or roughhead grenadier – are commercially valuable. The remaining three species – blue hake, spiny eel and spinytail skate – are taken as bycatch in other fisheries, primarily the deep-water trawl fisheries for Greenland halibut and redfish.

Continue reading Study Shows Shocking Decline In Deep-Sea Bottom Trawled Species

30
Nov
2005

Campaigners for an immediate UN moratorium on high seas bottom trawl fishing read with growing alarm the article “Decades of dumping chemical arms leave a risky legacy” by John Bull (1). The article details how decades ago, the US army dumped huge quantities of obsolete chemical weapons in the oceans off the US, and, get ready for the best part, they don’t remember exactly where they dumped them.

Continue reading “Fishy Sandwich: hold the mustard…gas!”

29
Nov
2005

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) today reaffirmed its call for nations to take ‘urgent action’ to protect deep-sea corals, seamounts and hydrothermal vent ecosytems from destruction by bottom trawl fishing but stopped well short of agreeing to declare a halt to the practice in international waters. A report released by UNEP last year singled out bottom trawl fishing, the most widely used method of fishing deep-sea bottom species such as orange roughy, deep-sea halibut and grenadiers on the high seas, as the greatest threat to deep ocean corals and ecosystems.

Continue reading UN General Assembly fails to heed calls to protect the world’s ocean commons

28
Nov
2005

On the eve of the UN General Assembly debate on Oceans, the French government announced that “In order to limit the impact on habitats in the high sea, France will support a moratorium on all fishing techniques for deep-sea species, where there is no competent authority in this regard (70% of the oceans), pending the creation of a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO)”. France also “encourages the adaptation of the mandates of Regional Fisheries Organisations to integrate the protection of biodiversity in their mission”.

Continue reading France to support high seas moratorium in unregulated areas