What About the Canyons?

by Michelle Frey

February 11, 2010

When members of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council looked out their hotel and around the meeting rooms and sessions, they were reminded of the deep sea canyons that they’re failing to protect. Greenpeace reminded them on newspapers, napkins, pens and t-shirts.

The Greenpeace spoof USA Today had the following headlines:

  • NOAA Habitat Division Launches Program to Actually Conserve Habitat
  • Trawl Captain Declares War on deep sea corals
  • Seattle based fleet decries ‘outsiders’ meddling in Alaska Fisheries
  • Inside were articles such as:
  • Study finds Fur Seals ‘Depressed and Anxious’
  • Factory Trawlers announce new ‘magic gear’
  • Lobbyists argue ‘Steller Sea Lions not that hungry’

This week, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets in Portland, Oregon to discuss whether any new protections are needed within the approximately one million square miles of the ocean managed by the Council. The Council is dominated by fishing interests and historically, management has leaned in favor of industrial fishing over ocean ecosystem health.

Greenpeace has been calling attention to a unique area within the NPFMC’s jurisdiction, the Bering Sea (waters between the United States and Russia). It’s home to some of the largest submarine canyons in the world. The Bering Sea is also home to a diverse array of wildlife. Polar bears, seals, sea lions, walruses, whales and millions of seabirds call the Bering Sea home.

You can read more about the Bering Sea and Greenpeace’s urge for marine reserves to help protect this amazing region. 


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