After four years of campaigning to bring an end to deep-sea bottom trawling, an international agreement has been made to protect just under 25 percent of the high seas from this incredibly destructive fishing method.
Crewman on the New Zealand bottom trawler dump a large piece of 'Paragorgia' coral dredged from the deep sea in their net.
Representatives from countries around the world gathered in Chile to
carve out a fisheries agreement for the South Pacific region.
Following a resolution made by the UN in 2006, the
countries at the meeting responded strongly with measures to stop
destruction of deep water corals, seamounts and other sensitive
habitats by vessels that are bottom trawling in international
Some of the amazing deep sea life that is threatened
From September 2007 bottom trawling vessels in the South Pacific
will not be able to fish in areas that have or are even likely to
have vulnerable marine ecosystems, unless they've completed an
assessment to show they won't do any damage.
The New Zealand fishing industry is responsible for 90 percent
of bottom trawling in the region. New Zealand delegates told the
meeting these measures would "severely constrain the ability of
their fishing industry to continue bottom trawling on the high seas
around New Zealand" and suggested that it may even have the effect
of putting an end to bottom trawling.
We'll be watching to make sure that New Zealand - and all the
member countries - put the agreement into action, and implement the
measures that will protect the irreplaceable biodiversity of deep
press release for more detailed info and visit www.southpacificrfmo.org for outcomes from the
meeting in Chile.
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