Activists in New Zealand have taken action against a vessel using the most destructive fishing method in the world, bottom trawling. Dodging whole potatoes fired from compressed air guns, and high pressure fire hoses, the activists prevented the New Zealand vessel Ocean Reward from destroying deep-sea life.
Greenpeace activists disrupt the setting of a bottom trawl net by attaching an inflatable liferaft. The bottom trawl vessel is the 'Ocean Reward' owned by New Zealand company Talley's Fisheries.
Using the Rainbow Warrior and inflatable boats, Greenpeace
activistsdisrupted the Ocean Reward from destroying deep sea coral
forests that take hundreds of years to grow. Thevessel was bottom
trawling in international waters of the Tasman Sea.
Our activists delayed the vessel from deploying its net by
attaching aninflatable life-raft (and dodging potatoes, yes,
potatoes, fired byangry trawlermen.)
Our oceans campaigner in New Zealand, Carmen Gravatt, said from
onboardthe Rainbow Warrior, "This type of fishing is considered by
scientiststo be the greatest threat to deep sea biodiversity and
every trawl doesincredible damage.
Bottom trawling nets are dragged along the sea floor. Huge
chains orrollers attached to the front of the nets destroy
everything in theirpath, including coral forests, as well as
sponges, worm tubes, mussels,boulder fields, and rocky reefs. Many
species of non-target fish andother deep sea creatures are
unintentionally caught as well. Then theyare dumped - dead or dying
- over the side.
Last year we documented bottom trawlers hauling up sea stars,
rocks andeven endangered black coral, despite fishing industry
claims that theirbottom trawling vessels did not touch the
seafloor. (We are pretty surethat those rocks weren't floating,
This week the sixth meeting of the impressively-titled United
NationsInformal Consultation on Oceans and the Law of the Sea
(UNICPOLOS) getsunderway at the UN in New York. The focus of the
meeting ison sustainable fisheries and it is expected that the
demand for a UNmoratorium on high seas bottom trawling will again
be on the table fordiscussion - and if not, we intend to put it
there. There is a growingnumber of countries that are moving to
support this as the onlyresponsible action to provide immediate
protection for deep seabiodiversity.
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