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 Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Tribunal: Report On The MV Rena

In its interim report, the Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown’s conduct in response to the grounding of the MV Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe) reef breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza: Wellington Protest For Palestine Calls For End To Bombing

Around 300 people gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Wellington on Friday to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Failure To Prosecute The GCSB

So one hand of the state – the Independent Police Conduct Authority – has now washed the hands of its brother agencies, and declared that all hands are clean. Case closed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news