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Australian Greens push for high seas moratorium

Greens push for high seas moratorium

"While Senator Campbell is flying around the Pacific in a valiant effort to save the whales, the Government is failing to act on other equally important marine issues where it has an opportunity to make a real impact."

Senator Siewert renewed her calls today for the Australian Government to back an immediate moratorium on high-seas bottom-trawling, giving her support to a major new Greenpeace campaign to stop these destructive practices.

"Australia has gained international respect for its efforts on whaling and other marine issues," said Senator Siewert, "we have an opportunity to demonstrate real leadership on this important issue."

The Senate passed a motion last October (by Senator Siewert) that supported a UN General Assembly resolution demanding urgent action on bottom trawling in international waters, but the Federal Government has failed to act.

"We urgently need an interim prohibition to deal with the threat to deep-sea biodiversity posed by high seas bottom trawling," said Senator Siewert.

"This would buy us the time we need for sustainable management practices to be developed and adopted under international law."

"The destructive power of bottom trawling is beyond belief," said
Senator Siewert. "These massive nets the size of football fields drag heavy steel rollers along the bottom, smashing corals and sponges and swallowing everything in their path - It's the clear-felling of the deep."

"These operations target sea mounts in international waters -extraordinary isolated and diverse ecosystems that remain largely unknown to science. We are destroying world's we haven't even discovered yet," said Senator Siewert, "These ecosystems and the fish stocks they support are very vulnerable."

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