Sigourney Weaver and the US: calling for an end to bottom trawling
United Nations, New York, United States — Actress Sigourney Weaver, star of Alien and Ghostbusters, has joined us at the UN in New York calling for a moratorium on high- seas bottom trawling. Adding more weight to Team Ocean Defenders, the US government has also been supportive. George W. Bush himself issued a statement calling for an “end [to] destructive fishing practices, such as unregulated bottom trawling”. This week’s UN meeting may be our last chance for real action to save the “aliens of the deep”.
Ms Weaver said, "The oceans that millions of people around the world depend on for sustenance and livelihood are being plundered while the world sits by and watches. Some of the oldest ecosystems on Earth are being destroyed. Most people think somebody somewhere is looking out for the deep oceans, but they aren't. These deep sea trawlers are operating beyond the reach of the law. It's up to all of us to change that."
Sigourney Weaver joined us at a press briefing in New York organised by the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, of which we are members. We were also joined by the UN Ambassadors from Australia, New Zealand and Palau.
Aliens (of the Deep)
They might not be quite as scary as the Aliens in one of Sigourney’s movies, but the deep sea creatures threatened by bottom trawling are unique and often previously unknown to science.
Karen Sack, our political advisor, said, “The UN has the power to protect the irreplaceable ecosystems of the deep sea bed from the relentless march of bottom trawlers. If it fails to act, it would be closing its eyes and allowing these unknown worlds to be destroyed before we fully understand all the life they contain—like blowing up Mars before we get there.”
Can Team Ocean Defenders save these unknown worlds? Australia, Brazil, the UK, South Africa, Chile, the Netherlands, Germany and many Pacific Island nations are among those that have called for a halt to unregulated high seas bottom trawling. Canada, Spain, Russia and Iceland lead the opposition.
This week the US became deep-sea defenders. President Bush issued a statement calling for rules based on sound science to “end destructive fishing practices such such as unregulated bottom trawling, explosives and chemicals that destroy the long-term productivity of ecosystems such as seamounts, corals, and sponge fields”. The US will be chairing the negotiations which commence at the UN today - October 4th.
The Year of Living Dangerously
Earlier this year we released a report calling for the establishment of 40 percent of the world’s oceans as marine reserves. Since then the UN itself recognised the need for a halt to unregulated high seas bottom trawling. Meanwhile, as the UN talks, the bottom trawling continues. We hope that this week the UN will decide to implement a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling and pave a way for a worldwide network of fully protected marine reserves.
Read updates straight from the UN as our own hard-working girl, political advisor Karen Sack, will report in our political blog as soon as more news comes to hand.
Become an Ocean Defeneder (It's Free!): http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en/