Greenpeace activists use wire cables to tie the trawl doors together on the bottom trawler Ocean Reward (NZ).
Using the Rainbow Warrior and inflatable boats, Greenpeace
activists disrupted the Ocean Reward from destroying deep-sea life
while bottom trawling in international waters in the Tasman
Activists delayed the vessel from deploying its net by attaching
an inflated life-raft, despite being shot at with compressed air
guns and sprayed with fire hoses.
Bottom trawling uses underwater nets up to 40 metres wide that
are dragged along the sea floor. Huge chains or rollers attached to
the front of the nets destroy everything in the their path,
including coral forests, as well as sponges, worm tubes, mussels,
boulder fields, and rocky reefs. Huge numbers of non-target fish
are unintentionally caught as well. They are discarded.
"This type of fishing is considered by scientists to be the
greatest threat to deep sea biodiversity and every trawl does
incredible damage," said Carmen Gravatt, Greenpeace New Zealand
campaigner on board the Rainbow Warrior.
"A global moratorium on bottom trawling in international waters
is urgently needed to protect life in the deep sea."
This week the sixth meeting of the United Nations Informal
Consultation on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS) gets
underway at the United Nations in New York. The focus of the
meeting is on sustainable fisheries and it is expected that the
demand for a UN moratorium on high seas bottom trawling will be
again be on the table for discussion. There is a growing number of
countries that are moving to support this as the only responsible
action to provide immediate protection for deep sea
Last year Greenpeace documented bottom trawlers hauling up sea
stars, rocks and even endangered black coral, despite fishing
industry claims that their bottom trawling vessels did not touch
"Greenpeace is taking action against bottom trawling in
international waters because governments have failed to establish a
moratorium to stop the destruction," said Gravatt.
"Every trawl we disrupt, we could be saving coral forests that
took hundreds of years to grow."
Other contacts: Carmen Gravatt, Greenpeace New Zealand campaigner on board Rainbow Warrior on +872 1302412Erin Farley, communications officer on board Rainbow Warrior - +872 1302412
Notes: 1. Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Chile, Costa Rica are supporting a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.