You know, sometimes you just want to break Greenpeace's policy on non-violent direction action, and go kick the crap out of the half-broken cabinet under Irene's desk (here in the Stockholm office that cabinet has been the victim of various frustrations including the resumption of Icelandic whaling, pirate fishing boats escaping in the night, and one of our campaigners taking the last piece of chocolate from the euphemistically named fruit bowl).
Today of course, the innocent cabinet suffered for Iceland stuffing up the UN bottom trawling decision.
It's been three long years on this campaign. Three years, hundreds of thousands of cyberactions (thanks valiant Ocean Defenders!), hundreds of hours of meetings in smoky back-rooms (for Karen Sack, our policy adviser), various costumes and banners and embassy protests and a hell of a lot of hot air. We even had to be nice about George W. Bush.
And in the final hour, when we'd even pulled Canada and Spain the way of Australia and New Zealand, Iceland ruined it all. They even had the nerve to ask why we had "Blamed Canada" and not Iceland. (Talk about asking for trouble!) It's horrifying that even when the majority of nations support a moratorium, one little country can throw that much weight around. Even scarier, in this article, it says "Neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor the Ministry of Environment have any information about what happened in New York, except that the issue was up for discussion." So um, this was just one crazy guy destroying 64% of the world's oceans then???
Needless to say, we here at Team DOO are all a little disappointed. In the last three years, we have brought the issue of bottom-trawling from a little-known term that would induce giggles at dinner parties, to the point where a South Park inspired e-card is front page news and the heads of big fisheries companies are all in a lather.
All we can hope for now is that those countries who fought to the end, like Palau, and those who were strong fighters on the way through (I'm proud of you, Australia!) will stick to their guns and enforce marine reserves and other regional protection for deep-sea life. Otherwise we're headed for jelly-fish and chips on the menu by 2048.
We don't have access to the final agreed bottom-trawling text on the UN Fisheries Agreement yet, but I don't have much faith it will be used for much other than being mashed up to fertilize the soil outside the UN along with other worse-smelling variations of the same substance.
For all the gruesome details, check out the story on Defending our Oceans.