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

 

Leaked: UK Counter-Terrorism Training Material

The PREVENT Strategy has permeated all aspects of public life in the UK. It is important that the training provided to public sector workers to implement the strategy is scrutinised for its empiricism. To this end, CAGE has released the most comprehensive leak of PREVENT training material so far. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Aid Urgently Needed For Drought-Stricken Ethiopia

As the severity of ongoing drought in Ethiopia is exacerbated by the arid effects of ‘super El Nino’, ChildFund New Zealand is appealing to more New Zealanders to contribute to their growing aid response. More>>

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news