Actress Sigourney Weaver, star of Alien and Ghostbusters, has joined us at the UN in New York calling for a moratorium on high- seas bottom trawling. Adding more weight to Team Ocean Defenders, the US government has also been supportive. George W. Bush himself issued a statement calling for an “end [to] destructive fishing practices, such as unregulated bottom trawling”. This week’s UN meeting may be our last chance for real action to save the “aliens of the deep”.
Sigourney Weaver at the UN Press Briefing in New York demonstrates the state of the sea bed before and after a bottom trawl.
Actress and activist Sigourney Weaver showed her support at the UN press briefing held to promote a resolution on high-seas bottom trawling.
Actress and activist Sigourney Weaver at the UN press briefing on high-seas bottom trawling. (Left to Right) H.E. Mr. Robert Hill Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Ms. Rosemary Banks Ambassador to New Zealand, Karen Sack Greenpeace International Oceans Policy Advisor, H.E. Mr. Stuart Ambassador to Palau, Ms. Sigourney Weaver, Dr. Ellen Pikitch Exec. Dir., Pew Institute for Ocean Science, Ms. Lisa Speer Natural Resources Defense Council
Actress and activist Sigourney Weaver speaks at the UN press briefing held to promote a resolution on high-seas bottom trawling.
Ms Weaver said, "The oceans that millions of people around the
world depend on for sustenance and livelihood are being plundered
while the world sits by and watches. Some of the oldest ecosystems
on Earth are being destroyed. Most people think somebody somewhere
is looking out for the deep oceans, but they aren't. These deep sea
trawlers are operating beyond the reach of the law. It's up to all
of us to change that."
Sigourney Weaver joined us at a press briefing in New York
organised by the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, of which we are
members. We were also joined by the UN Ambassadors from Australia,
New Zealand and Palau.
Aliens (of the Deep)
They might not be quite as scary as the Aliens in one of
Sigourney's movies, but the deep sea creatures threatened by
bottom trawling are unique and often previously unknown to
Karen Sack, our political advisor, said, "The UN has the power
to protect the irreplaceable ecosystems of the deep sea bed from
the relentless march of bottom trawlers. If it fails to act, it
would be closing its eyes and allowing these unknown worlds to be
destroyed before we fully understand all the life they contain-like
blowing up Mars before we get there."
Team Ocean Defenders save these unknown worlds? Australia,
Brazil, the UK, South Africa, Chile, the Netherlands, Germany
and many Pacific Island nations are among those that have called
for a halt to unregulated high seas bottom trawling. Canada,
Spain, Russia and Iceland lead the opposition.
This week the US became deep-sea defenders. President Bush
issued a statementcalling for rules based on sound science
to "end destructive fishingpractices such such as unregulated
bottom trawling, explosives andchemicals that destroy the
long-term productivity of ecosystems suchas seamounts, corals, and
sponge fields". The US will be chairing thenegotiations which
commence at the UN today - October 4th.
The Year of Living Dangerously
Earlier this year we
released a report calling for the establishment of 40 percent
of the world's oceans as
marine reserves. Since then the
UN itself recognised the need for a halt to unregulated high seas
bottom trawling. Meanwhile, as the UN talks, the bottom
trawling continues. We hopethat this week the UN will decide to
implement a moratorium on highseas bottom trawling and pave a way
for a worldwide network of fullyprotected marine reserves.
Read updates straight from the UN as our own hard-working girl,
political advisor Karen Sack,
will report in our political blog as soon as more news comes to
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