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Bottom trawling regulations needed urgently

13 February 2005

Bottom trawling regulations needed urgently - Greens

Photos of sea creatures devastated by bottom trawling obtained by Greenpeace under the Official Information Act illustrate the urgency of developing an organisation that can set rules on the practice, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"The international meeting that starts tomorrow in Wellington to set up a regional fisheries management organisation for the South Pacific is a rare opportunity that must not be wasted," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"The Greens campaigned last year to urge our government to take a lead in promoting a moratorium on bottom trawling on the high seas. The purpose was to safeguard the remaining marine ecosystems until rules could be put in place.

The Government did not take this lead, but has put all its eggs in the basket of a regional organisation. This means we haven't got much time.

Every day, rare ancient corals and sponges and other deep sea species are being destroyed. Some may never recover. The new organisation must not waste time in setting up bureaucratic structures but must move swiftly to establishing protected areas and agreeing rules to protect marine ecosystems.


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