The devil is in the detail on limited bottom trawling ban Greenpeace warns

Press release - February 14, 2006
Today's announcement that areas would be closed to bottom trawling showed that both the fishing industry and Government acknowledge the need to protect deep-sea life from the destruction caused by bottom trawling, but warned that it will not solve the problem.

'While 30% of our EEZ sounds like an impressive proposed closure, the areas do not seem to represent all the vulnerable areas at risk from bottom trawling. We know, for example, that most of these areas are too deep to bottom trawl.' said Carmen Gravatt oceans campaigner. 'The devil is in the detail.'

She went on to warn that closing only selected areas would not solve the problem with the high seas under discussion at this week's meeting in Wellington.

Greenpeace noted that the closure announcement today is only within New Zealand's EEZ and has little to do with the international waters where there are no rules at all.

'There is plenty of evidence of bottom trawling's devastating impacts. However there is not enough information around to be able to select particular areas without knowing the impact of leaving other vulnerable areas open to bottom trawling.'

'The only effective measure is a temporary ban on bottom trawling in international waters while the research is carried out and the RFMO negotiations are underway,' concluded Ms Gravatt.