Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

UN Calls for Closures to Protect Sea Turtles

UN Calls for Closures to Protect Sea Turtles

While a Good First Step, Scientists Say a Moratorium is Needed


Forest Knolls, California – Today, the United Nations General Assembly will vote on a resolution that calls for closures of fishing in areas where large numbers of critically endangered sea turtles are caught or killed. The critically endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle is on the verge of extinction and is expected by scientists to go extinct in the next 5-30 years unless immediate measures to eliminate threats posed by industrial longline fishing are taken. Environmentalists are pleased at this first step but warn that a moratorium on destructive longline fishing is needed in the Pacific if the leatherback is to survive.

“We are pleased that the UN finally moving closer to the worldwide consensus that something urgently needs to be done to prevent the extinction of the leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles in the Pacific,” said Robert Ovetz, Save the Leatherback Campaign Coordinator of the US based Sea Turtle Restoration Project which is leading the advocacy effort by a coalition of international environmental organizations.

Last June a parade of schoolchildren dressed in sea turtle costumes delivered a petition to the UN signed by thousands of citizens, 1,007 scientists from 97 countries and 281 non-governmental organizations from 64 countries urging it to implement a moratorium on high seas industrial longline fishing in the Pacific. The list of signers includes famed primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and former U.S. astronaut Bernard Harris, Jr. M.D.

According the recent reports in the scientific journal Nature, the 100 million year old leatherback sea turtle is on the brink of extinction. The population of female nesting leatherbacks has declined by about 95% since 1980.

Dr. James Spotila, a co-author of one of the reports, signed the petition to the UN and testified before the UN this past June. "The descent of the leatherback toward extinction is a global ecological tragedy that affects us all. As goes the leatherback, so goes the ocean," warned Dr. Spotila. Dr. Spotila is the President of the International Sea Turtle Society, President of The Leatherback Trust, and Betz Chair of Environmental Science at Drexel University.

The language endorsing a set of guidelines recently drafted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization originated at the June meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea. On the first day of the meeting, The meeting directed all nations that have signed the convention and regional fisheries management organizations to urgently implement the closures and other measures outlined in recent UN FAO guidelines for reducing interactions with sea turtles. Similar language calling for time and area closures to reduce the bycatch (the unwanted capture and killing of ocean wildlife) of industrial fishing also appears in the same section of the resolution. These 2 recommendations are included in the resolution that will be voted on by the UN General Assembly today.

"While proposing time and area closures is a good first step the UN has a long way to go to heed the call of the scientific community to implement a moratorium on longline fishing in the Pacific. A moratorium would give us the time to put proven conservation measures into place to keep the leatherback from dropping off into oblivion forever," Ovetz added.

Resources:

* For a copy of the UN draft fisheries resolution go to: http://www.seaturtles.org/pdf/_finalfishresol.11_10_05.pdf

* For a copy of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project's new book Striplining the Pacific on the impact of longline fishing on the Pacific leatherback go to: http://www.seaturtles.org/press_release2.cfm?pressID=259

* For a copy of the scientist and NGO letters to the UN calling for a moratorium on longline fishing in the Pacific go to: http://www.seaturtles.org/press_release2.cfm?pressID=261

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 



Transport Industry Association: Feb 2021 New Vehicle Registrations Strongest On Record

Motor Industry Association Chief Executive David Crawford says that the February 2021 figures are the strongest for the month of February ever. Registrations of 12,358 were 8.0% up on February 2020. Year to date the market is up 7.1% (1,735 units) compared to the first two months of 2020... More>>

Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>

ALSO:



Hemp Industries Association: Could The Next Team NZ Boat Be Made Entirely Of Hemp?

With The America’s Cup due to start in a few days’ time, innovators from a very different sphere have been wondering how long it could be before New Zealand could be competing in a boat entirely built from hemp, with the crew eating high-energy, nutritious hemp-infused foods and wearing high-performance hemp kit..? More>>


ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>