Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Tackling Animal Suffering Caused By Dangerous Ocean Rubbish

23 November 2012

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) Commits To Tackle Animal Suffering Caused By Dangerous Ocean Rubbish

Every year, millions of marine animals are killed or condemned to a lifetime of suffering by the dangerous rubbish New Zealand and other countries around the globe allow to choke the world’s oceans, sea and shorelines.

WSPA has now produced the first ever in depth report on this issue - ‘Untangled’. This report reveals the truly global nature of the problem. Even though this issue is well documented in environmental and conservations circles, the subject of this animal suffering has not, until now, been included in the conversation. WSPA’s aim is to escalate the issue as a major global animal-welfare problem which governments, industry and the public will need to play a role in solving.

Hundreds of species are affected globally, including many of the oceans most beloved residents such as fur seals, sea lions, humpback whales and turtles. New estimates from our report suggest that between 57,000 to 135,000 seals and large whales are entangled every year.

The report also highlights the specific suffering endured by certain species. For example, a turtle may choke to death on a plastic bag in minutes, while a whale may spend months or even years dragging fishing gear around, suffering appalling wounds before eventually succumbing to infection or starvation due to an inability to feed.

Birds – likely in their millions - often mistake plastic for food and suffer the consequences. Recent studies have shown that for the worst affected species in the North Sea, 94 per cent of birds investigated contained on average 34 pieces of plastic. The average weight of the plastic ingested was 0.3g; scaled up this would equate to an average portion of lunch for a human adult.

Discarded ‘stuff’ from our daily lives is either accidentally or deliberately dumped from land and sea, causing marine mammals, birds, turtles, sharks and other large fish species to become entangled in ropes, nets, packing straps and plastic packaging.

Currents and winds then carry this debris thousands of miles to hotspots like the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’, which contains plastic, chemical sludge and debris with an estimated mass of 100 million tonnes covering an area as large as France and Spain combined.

"Every year, millions of marine animals are mutilated and killed by the dangerous rubbish we leave floating around in the oceans. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) believes that it is time to tackle this suffering head on - we plan to take global action on this truly global problem, in order to make the seas a safer home for animals”, said Bridget Vercoe, Country Director at WSPA New Zealand.

To build their knowledge, WSPA is organising the first global symposium dedicated to examining the marine debris issue from an animal welfare perspective. Held in Miami, this December 4-6th, the mass brain storm is being supported and endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), plus a range of more than 60 marine debris experts from governments, intergovernmental bodies and research centres.

WSPA expects the symposium to enable sharing of information about the scale and nature of the problem for animals, and to agree animal-focussed solutions. The debate will be framed along the key themes of:

Reducing the volume of marine debris that entangles marine animals
Removing dangerous debris already in the animals’ habitats
Rescuing animals already entangled in marine debris.

“Our symposium represents the first major step in WSPA's new marine debris campaign. It will help us to understand where and how we can take action to stop this indefensible and wholly unnecessary animal suffering,” added Vercoe.

About WSPA (www.wspa.org.nz)
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is one of the world’s leading animal welfare organizations. We have been protecting animals around the world more than 30 years. We passionately believe that animal welfare matters. At WSPA, we will always expose and oppose the exploitation and suffering of animals. We believe animal cruelty must end, whether an animal is living in the wild, on a farm, in our community or affected by a disaster. Today, WSPA works in more than 50 countries, collaborating with local communities, NGOs and governments that can help us change animals’ lives for the better. We also act at a global level, using our United Nations consultative status to give animals a voice.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news