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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Greenpeace backs call for bottom trawling moratorium
Greenpeace has welcomed Australias announcement calling for the United Nations to establish a moratorium on unregulated high seas bottom trawling.
Australia has joined a growing number of countries demanding the establishment of a United Nations moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.
Following three years of calls for urgent action, the United Nations General Assembly is to begin negotiating measures to protect marine life in the deep-sea on October 4-5, leading to a formal adoption in November. A number of countries have already voiced their support for a UN Moratorium and include Brazil, Chile, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu in the Pacific.
Additionally, more than 1,500 marine scientists from over 60 countries have signed a letter in support of an immediate UN moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.
"Greenpeace is delighted that Australia has finally stopped prevaricating on the issue and come down in favour of a moratorium on bottom trawling. The Government is now clearly acknowledging the destructive environmental impacts of high seas bottom trawling on deep-sea life, the need for immediate action and the need for long-term protection and sustainable management," said Sari Tolvanen of Greenpeace International.
The European Union represents around 60% of the 300 or so vessels engaged in bottom trawling worldwide: Spain has the largest fleet.
Saskia Richartz, Greenpeace EU Marine Policy Director said: "It appears that a growing number of EU countries are now in support of a moratorium. Spain and the European Commission, however, are still siding with a small sector of the industry that supports this fishing method and holding the EU position hostage. It is time for them to protect the interest of the oceans and the environment instead of the vested interests of a handful of fishing fleets. They must urgently agree a common position to support the call for a UN moratorium."
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Political processes/FAO / UN High Seas Processes