World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


10 football pitches of ocean floor devastated each 4 secs

Ten football pitches worth of ocean floor devastated every four seconds


Click for big version

Amsterdam 7th June 2006 - As the kick-off to the football world cup approaches, Greenpeace has revealed the shocking fact that every four seconds, marine life in an area of ocean floor the size of ten football fields is wiped out by high seas bottom trawlers. Tomorrow has been designated World Oceans Day, but before it is over, a global fleet of around 300 high seas bottom trawlers will have dragged their heavy nets across an estimated 1,500 km2 of deep-seabed, destroying some of the most diverse, ancient and fragile ocean life on the planet.

Today, volunteers highlighted the enormity of bottom-trawling by comparing the 100 metre nets actually used to a real sized football pitch in Haarlem, The Netherlands. In true football style volunteers raised their shirts and had S C O R E 4 O C E A N S spelt out on their stomachs as a message to governments of the world to take action to protect the ocean today and for future generations. Shirts were worn from the different nations of the world who have either opposed high-seas bottom trawling or support this devastating fishing practice. Visit the league table at www.oceans.greenpeace.org/league-table

"If this was happening on land, there would be an international outcry. It's a question of out of sight, out of mind with the destruction of these beautiful ancient undersea worlds - and all for just a few fish." (1) Said Sari Tolvanen Greenpeace Oceans campaigner. "Huge bottom trawl nets are dragged along the seabed, smashing ancient corals and destroying the other marine life which makes up these fragile deep-sea communities that have taken thousands of years to develop," she continued.

The deep-sea is believed to contain the largest pool of undiscovered life on earth. Scientists estimate that 500,000 to 100 million species exist in the deep-sea. Greenpeace is part of a global coalition of NGOs, over 1500 scientists and an increasing number of states which are calling for a United Nations global moratorium on high seas bottom trawling due to the threat that this destructive fishing activity poses to deep-sea life.

"A moratorium on high seas bottom trawling would allow the necessary 'time out' for scientists to assess the extent and nature of deep-sea biodiversity and policy makers to develop legally binding mechanisms for the protection, sustainable use and management of international waters. The moratorium would be a step towards one of the key solutions to the range of threats our oceans are facing" said Karen Sack, Greenpeace International Oceans Policy Advisor.

"Unless high seas bottom trawling is halted now, the entire area of vulnerable deep-sea corals will have been trawled at least once within the next 16 years - that's in just four World Cup's time", said Sari Tolvanen.

The job is large but not insurmountable. Next week, world governments gather in New York once again to discuss issues related to the protection of deep-sea biodiversity where progress on the high seas issues can be achieved. (2)

Greenpeace's campaign for a UN moratorium on high seas bottom trawling is part of the most ambitious ship expedition ever undertaken by the environmental advocacy organisation. The 14-month long "Defending our Oceans" expedition is exposing the key threats to our oceans and offering real solutions, a global network of properly enforced marine reserves covering 40 percent of the worlds oceans: places that will be protected from industrial exploitation and destruction, from industrial fishing and hunting, and places from which our oceans can begin the process of repair and recovery.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems to drive solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

(1) At present there are about 250-300 high seas bottom trawling fishing boats and many of these are not full time. This is only 0.3 percent of the three million commercial fishing boats worldwide, and only 0.2 percent of global marine fisheries production. The overall contribution of high seas bottom trawling to global food security is negligible.

(2) To see the full list of countries playing on either Ocean Defenders or Ocean Destroyers teams at the Greenpeace 'Ocean World Cup', visit the league table at www.oceans.greenpeace.org/league-table


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news