trawl moratorium

18 April, 2006

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition today posted postcards from the public to the Australian Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell. The cards, titled ‘Help save the ancient forests of the deep seas’, described some of the destructive impacts impacts of bottom trawling. The cards asked the Minister to “become a champion for the high seas” by supporting a global moratorium on high seas bottom trawling. Cards were distributed throughout Australia.

Continue reading Public calls for action on high seas bottom trawling destruction

4 April, 2006

Curtiba, Brazil – Although extinctions are proceeding at an unprecedented rate, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) failed to do more than reiterate the call for immediate action to protect vulnerable deep-sea corals and underwater mountains from high seas bottom trawling, shifting the responsibility to the United Nations. “The decisions on high seas reflect that governments now recognize the grave threats to the unique high seas biodiversity and the need for urgent actions.

Continue reading CBD passes the buck for action on high seas bottom trawling

12 January, 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

30 November, 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 November, 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

4 November, 2005

58 Australian marine scientists have sent a letter to the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard urging him to “take advantage of an historic opportunity to secure significant protection for the world’s deep-ocean ecosystems on the high seas” by promoting the negotiation of a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling at this year’s United Nations General Assembly. (1) A week earlier, over 100 international marine scientists, conservationists and biodiversity experts attending the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC1) sent a letter to Australian Ministers for the Environment and Fisheries, Senators Ian Campbell and Ian MacDonald, urging them to stop deep sea destruction by supporting a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling. (2) The letter was also sent to Heads of State attending the Pacific Islands Forum and delegates to the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which met last week in Hobart.

Continue reading Scientists call on Australia to support the moratorium

25 October, 2005

In spite of the fact that Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has called on countries to “stop the rape of our oceans” (1) and Fisheries Minister Geoff Reagan agrees that no habitat means no fish, Canada stands poised to vote against a moratorium on bottom trawling in international waters at the United Nations. Last week, on Wednesday, 19 October 2005, a medley of deep sea creatures, entangled in three tonnes of bottom trawl fishing gear, were displayed by Deep Sea Conservation Coalition members on Canada’s Parliament Hill to impress on Parliament members the scale of the damage caused to sea floor habitats by such gear.

Continue reading Will Canada hold good on its promise to protect the oceans?

20 October, 2005

There is growing concern amongst scientists about the need to take urgent action to protect deep sea biodiversity – fish stocks as well as habitat. The International Council on the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has prepared a report calling for “a complete overhaul of deep-sea fisheries.” (1) According to a 17 October ICES press release about the report’s launch (2), “scientists will recommend that all existing deep-sea fisheries should be cutback to low levels until they can demonstrate that they are sustainable. They will advise zero catch of depleted deep-sea sharks, and they will recommend that no new fisheries for deep-sea fish should be allowed until it can be demonstrated that they are capable of being sustainable.”

Continue reading Scientists Speak Out: Action Urgently Needed in the Deep Seas

30 September, 2005

In Paris this week, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) called on France to support a UN General Assembly resolution as France’s friends of the ocean gathered at the Oceanographic Institute for the ‘Deep Trouble’ conference (‘Au fond, il y a un problème’) to discuss high seas bottom trawling. The conference (1) was attended by around 200 people, among them scientists, undersea explorers, environmentalists writers, journalists and representatives from non-governmental organisations.

Continue reading DSCC calls on France to support a moratorium