EU fleet exposed destroying deep sea life as UN meets to discuss protection
North Atlantic Ocean, 18 October 2004 -- The needless destruction of the high seas was exposed by Greenpeace this morning, after documenting a EU bottom trawler operating in the North Atlantic.
Meanwhile at the UN in New York, diplomats are talking about the protection of marine life in these international waters. A resolution on the issue is due to be tabled in early November.
While scientists and environmentalists are calling for an immediate moratorium on high seas bottom trawling, the EU continues to defy science and logic by not only supporting a practise that is the most destructive for deep sea life but also effectively blocking international progress towards protecting deep sea life.
A team from the Greenpeace ship
MV Esperanza documented a Spanish flagged bottom-trawler,
the Ivan Nores, in the Hatton Bank area of the North
410 miles north-west of Ireland.
“Bycatch” destroyed by the bottom trawling nets included squid, rays, dogfish, starfish and crustaceans. Fish caught included roundnose grenadier and Baird’s smoothead, which are extremely vulnerable to fishing pressure.
boats, in the majority from EU countries, drag fishing gear
weighing several tonnes across the sea bed, destroying
everything in their
path including marine wildlife such as coral and devastating life on underwater mountains – or ‘seamounts’.
Maria Jose Caballero, Greenpeace campaigner
onboard the Esperanza, said: “Bottom trawling is the most
destructive activity on the high seas, and today we
were able to expose the devastation they cause.”
“Bottom trawlers are trashing areas that are unique and thriving habitats, and are home to probably thousands of marine species that we haven’t even discovered.”
wasted just discussing the need for action is possibly
another deep sea habitat gone. The UN must act to stop
destructive fishing and save the
giant squid and thousands of other marine animals.”
The Esperanza is
currently investigating and documenting bottom trawling in
the North Atlantic. Seamounts in this area run from the
south of Iceland to the
Azores and form the world’s largest mountain range.
Greenpeace is a member of the
Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, an international alliance
of organizations, representing millions of people in
the world, which is calling for a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.