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'Claptrap' Substantiated With Concrete Evidence


Sunday, 12 June 2005: Last week Amaltal director Andrew Talley called Greenpeace assertions "unsubstantiated claptrap". Today, photos and footage taken by the Rainbow Warrior crew prove him and others supporting bottom trawling wrong.

Greenpeace crew from the Rainbow Warrior today captured images of endangered black and red corals being hauled aboard a New Zealand bottom trawler in international waters near Norfolk Island.

"Again and again, we have caught the bottom trawling industry red-handed with the evidence of deep sea destruction in their nets. How many more pictures of clearfelled coral forests do governments need to see before they recognise that a moratorium on bottom trawling in international waters is urgently needed?" said Carmen Gravatt, Greenpeace oceans campaigner.

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12-06-2005, West Norfolk Ridge, international waters, Tasman Sea: A tree sized piece of 'Paragorgia' coral being hauled aboard the New Zealand bottom trawler Waipori. Greenpeace/Malcolm Pullman

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12-06-2005, West Norfolk Ridge, international waters Tasman Sea: Crewman on the New Zealand bottom trawler Waipori dump a large piece of 'Paragorgia' coral dredged from the deep sea in their net. Greenpeace/Malcolm Pullman

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12-06-2005, West Norfolk Ridge, international waters, Tasman Sea: Crewmen on New Zealand bottom trawler Waipori wrestle with a large piece of 'Paragorgia' coral hauled up from the deep sea. Greenpeace/Malcolm Pullman

NB: Although the smaller corals looks red, it is the skeleton of the coral that is black. The large red coral is a centuries-old gorgonian tree coral.

"Fishing industry leaders scraped the bottom of the barrel last week when they claimed bottom trawl nets didn't touch the sea floor. Well, once again we've got the proof," said Gravatt. "We'd like to see the fishing industry swallow their pride, realise that bottom trawling is not sustainable and support our calls for a UN moratorium on bottom trawling in international waters".

The nets of the Waipori, owned by the Tasman Pacific company, seemed to have few fish but many pieces of the corals. Greenpeace filmed a range of bottom dwelling species that were also in the haul of the New Zealand vessel, including a rare crab (Paralomis cf. yaldwyni).

The New Zealand Government delegation at last week's UN meeting on oceans got the message and made strong moves to get governments globally to take responsibility for the destruction of bottom trawling in international waters.

The 2003 scientific NORFANZ expedition surveyed throughout this region and identified it as a 'biodiversity hotspot'. It has been described as a marine 'Jurassic Park' - with ancient species that are the tuatara of the sea, as old as dinosaurs.

The images were taken on the West Norfolk Ridge, just over 200 miles off the coast of northern New Zealand.

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12-06-2005, West Norfolk Ridge, International Waters, Tasman Sea: Fishermen on the New Zealand bottom trawler Waipori work to clear coral including endangered Cites listed Leiopathes and Bathypathes corals endemic to seamounts dredged up in their net. Greenpeace / Malcolm Pullman

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12-June-2005 West Norfolk Ridge international waters Tasman Sea / A crewman on the deck of the New Zealand vessel Waipori holds a rare and endangered 'Paralomis cf. Yaldwyni' crab taken from the bottom trawler's net. Greenpeace / Malcolm Pullman


Use of the images on this page is subject to the Greenpeace Copyright Policy
- To order a high resolution version of this image please contact Greenpeace NZ on +64 9 630 6317.

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