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Maritime Union backs action on bottom trawling

Media release for immediate release Wednesday 8 June 2005

Maritime Union backs Greenpeace protest action against bottom trawling

The Maritime Union of New Zealand is supporting the direct action by Greenpeace activists on the Rainbow Warrior against bottom trawling fishing vessels in the Tasman Sea.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says it has become obvious that overfishing and bad practices such as bottom trawling were wrecking the environment, and would also destroy the industry that depends on the environment.

"The time has come to stop talking and start direct action, because in our experience that is the only way to get things done."

The Greenpeace action is against the practice of bottom trawling, where weighted nets are dragged along the ocean floor, tearing up the habitat of sealife and causing massive damage.

Mr Hanson says New Zealanders need to think about the livelihoods of future generations as well as the environment.

He says the fishing industry needs to be completely overhauled with much stronger regulation and a long term strategy to overcome its problems, especially with regard to pay and conditions for workers, and the sustainability of fish stocks.

"The Maritime Union has been demanding action on the shocking treatment of overseas crews fishing in New Zealand waters, and if that is how workers are being treated we can only shudder to think of how the environment is being wrecked."


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