Looks like somebody was throwing us a red herring. Last week, Greenpeace activists targeted the Nelson, New Zealand headquarters of the Orange Roughy Management Company (ORMC) in a peaceful protest against destructive bottom trawling. Their Chief Executive denied operating in international waters. But guess what our ship, Rainbow Warrior, just found?
The catch is hauled aboard the NZ deep sea trawler Corsair in international waters in the Tasman sea. The red fish is orange roughy, the rest is mostly bycatch to be discarded.
Latest Update: Greenpeace presents 6000 strong petition to UN
The Rainbow Warrior located the Amaltal Voyager, Westbay, and
Corsair around 350 miles off the coast of New Zealand on the
Northwest Challenger Plateau. The plot thickens: it turns out that
the Amaltal Fishing Company is a shareholder of the Orange Roughy
Management Company (ORMC).
Despite their previous
bravado, the bottom trawling industry doesn't seem to want to
communicate. The occupants of the three ships haven't responded to
our contact via radio - except occasionally with, shall we say,
"impolite" hand gestures.
While our intrepid Greenpeace activists documented the fishing
activities on the high seas in the face of an unexpectedly large
swell and a little subsequent seasickness, a different type of
Greenpeace delegation began talks at the UN to secure a moratorium
on high seas bottom trawling. New Zealand will now be in the hot
seat since all of the vessels revealed by the Rainbow Warrior were
registered in New Zealand.
"The New Zealand Government has yet to say whether it will
support or oppose a moratorium but they must be feeling the heat in
New York at the moment," said Carmen Gravatt, Greenpeace New
Zealand campaigner, from aboard the Rainbow Warrior.
Yesterday at a UN press conference delegates were treated to a
rare broadcast from on board the Rainbow Warrior giving them a
first hand look at the activists at work. Many scientists also made
presentations at the conference - in fact over a thousand of them
are supporting the call for a moratorium on bottom trawling because
of the absolute devastation caused by this fishing technique. Many
species have not even been described or discovered before they are
fished out, while ancient corals and sponges are decimated, with
little chance of recovery.
"There are only a small number of nations responsible for this
environmental devastation," said Karen Sack, Greenpeace
International Oceans Policy Advisor, at the UN. "While they reap
rich rewards, the biodiversity of the least protected area of this
planet is being wiped out. That is why the United Nations must
impose an immediate moratorium on bottom trawling."
VIDEO: See Carmen Gravatt and the Greenpeace team tracking bottom trawlers from on board the Rainbow Warrior
Windows Media, 4.4MB, 1min48secs
Real Media, 4.2MB, 1min48secs
Quicktime, 8MB, 1min48secs
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