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Pacific Leads The Way In Bottom Trawling

Pacific Leads The Way In Bottom Trawling

Nadi, Fiji Islands, October 25, 2006. It was a win for the Pacific people yesterday as their leaders took the lead in opposing the destructive fishing practice of High Seas Bottom Trawling (HSBT)(1) by issuing the Declaration on Deep-Sea Bottom Trawling to Protect Biodiversity in the High Seas.

The 16 Pacific countries agreed to issue a strong declaration on deep sea bottom trawling to protect the biodiversity in the high seas and their Economic Exclusive Zones (EEZ). This declaration commits Pacific countries to urgently take action to prevent destructive bottom trawling and calls upon Pacific countries to advocate for an interim prohibition on HSBT.

“The leaders are miles ahead in terms of protecting Pacific peoples livelihoods as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is considering calls for a moratorium on HSBT in November and this declaration paves the way,” said Seni Nabou, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Political Advisor.

“The Pacific led the way to ban drift net fishing and it is exciting that now they are leading the way to address HSBT,(2)” she said.

Nilesh Goundar Greenpeace Australia Pacific Oceans Team leader said the Pacific is the first region in the world to solidly oppose HSBT.

“The same interim measures must also be put in place while the South Pacific Region Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO)(3) is in the process of being formalised in next months meeting in Hobart,” he said.

“From this statement we expect that stronger actions will be taken as a region also to eliminate overfishing and pirate fishing.”

EDITORS NOTE 1. This is a destructive fishing practice where enormous trawl nets the size of football fields are dragged along the sea floor especially over sea mounts. The heavy steel rollers that weigh the net down can indiscriminately smash corals and swallow everything in their path. 2. http://www.forumsec.org/index.cfm?go=main.resources&cmd=forumview&uid=docu ments00 18&cid=430&catuuid=EFBD217F-A066-182D-8A0B480B65B70F28 3. http://www.southpacificrfmo.org/event.second-meeting/

ENDS


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