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Greenpeace Again Halts Bottom Trawling

8 June 2005

Greenpeace Again Halts Bottom Trawling in International Waters

Tasman Sea, Wednesday 8 June 2005: For the second day in a row, Greenpeace has disrupted a New Zealand bottom trawler in international waters. Bottom trawling the sea floor is the biggest threat to life in the deep sea, and every trawl does incredible damage.

Using the Rainbow Warrior and inflatable boats, activists successfully stopped four trawls by the vessel, the Ocean Reward in the international waters of the Tasman Sea.

Activists first used a cable to connect the vessel's several-tonne trawl doors together, choking off the net and preventing it from being deployed. Hung from the cables were signs reading 'End Deep Sea Destruction'. Later, floating barrels reading 'Protect Deep Sea Life' were repeatedly attached to the net, forcing the vessel to haul the net back in.

"Greenpeace is taking action today because government's are failing to end the destruction," said Greenpeace oceans campaigner, Carmen Gravatt.

Less than four percent of the deep sea is rocky areas such as seamounts, ridges and plateaus. It is these few areas that hold some of the largest diversity of species and undiscovered life on earth. Unfortunately, this also means these areas are also the prime target for bottom trawlers.

"At the moment it's a race against time as bottom trawlers wipe out life in the deep sea before we even know what's down there. Every trawl we stop could save a coral forest that took hundreds of years to grow. We urgently need a moratorium on bottom trawling in international waters."

"While we did our best to stop the destruction by a bottom trawler today, the only way to protect deep sea life for the future is for governments to act."

Before taking action, the Rainbow Warrior informed the skipper of the Ocean Reward that Greenpeace were undertaking a peaceful protest and did not intend to interfere with their navigation, endanger their crew or damage equipment.

ENDS

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