Reminiscent of their performance in the World Cup Football, Australia also made a great move in our very own Oceans World Cup and today joined the Deep-Sea Defenders. After receiving over 32,000 emails sent from our Ocean Defenders around the world, Australia is calling on the UN to establish a time-out on destructive high seas bottom trawling. If only the EU Commission would do the same...
Greenpeace activists block the trawl ramp of Belize flagged Chinese bottom trawler Chang Xing in Port Nelson, New Zealand.
Following three years of calls for urgent action, the United
Nations General Assembly will finally begin negotiating measures to
protect marine life in the deep-sea on 4-5 October leading to a
formal adoption in November. A number of countries have already
voiced their support for a UN Moratorium including Brazil, Chile,
the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, South Africa,
Kenya, Nigeria Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the
Republic of the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu in the Pacific.
Wiping out unknown worlds
Bottomtrawling is widely recognized as the most destructive of
fishingmethods. Heavily weighted bottom trawls are indiscriminate
andscour and devour everything in their path including species
thatare not even known to science. It's like driving a huge
bulldozerthrough an unexplored, lush and richly populated forest
and beingleft with a flat, featureless desert.
Countries, scientists, Ocean Defenders, and the UN
Inaddition to Ocean Defenders, the many countries calling fora
moratorium, other non-government organisations, over
1500scientists, and the UN itself have expressed the need for
amoratorium on this practice before it's too late. Here'sthe play
Highseas bottom trawling represents only one percent of the
world'sannual global fishery catch. The European Union represents
around60 percent of the 300 or so vessels engaged in bottom
trawlingworldwide: Spain has the largest fleet.
What's the EU position? Good question.
Whilethe European Commission dosen't qualify for a "national
team" they seemto be acting as a bad referee kicking the ball to
the Destroyers teamwhich is lead by Spain. Our EU Marine Policy
Director, Saskia Richartz,explains who's still on the side of the
"Spainand the European Commission, are still siding with a
small sectorof the industry that supports this fishing method and
holding the EUposition hostage. It is time for them to protect the
interest ofthe oceans and the environment instead of the vested
interests of ahandful of fishing fleets. They must urgently agree a
common positionto support the call for a UN moratorium."
With Australia'sstrong move, eyes are turning towards New
Zealand. OurOceans Campaigner in New Zealand, Mike Hagler, hopes
that New Zealandwill follow Australia's lead. "Greenpeace expects
that New Zealand willjoin Palau, Australia and the rest of the
countries of the Pacific inleading the world to a strong policy
outcome at the UN next month," hesaid.
Stop the Clock!
Find out which countries have "stopped the clock" and called for a timeout on high seas bottom trawling
Sign up as an Ocean Defender
And help us pressure the last few countries to become Deep Sea Defenders