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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news