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Greenpeace are at it again!

Steve O'Shea

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Rainbow Warrior to campaign on deep sea life

Auckland, Thursday 26 May 2005.

In the lead up to the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace's flagship vessel leaves today for international waters around New Zealand to highlight the destructive impacts of bottom trawling.

"Bottom trawling is the most destructive fishing practice in the world," said Carmen Gravatt, Greenpeace Oceans campaigner, at a press conference on board the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour. "The deep sea is the largest pool of undiscovered life on Earth. Bottom trawling these unknown worlds is like blowing up Mars before we get there."

When the Rainbow Warrior sailed to the Tasman Sea last year, the crew documented New Zealand and Belizean bottom trawlers hauling in huge amounts of by-catch, rocks from the sea floor and bottom dwelling marine life, including endangered black coral.

Around the world, scientists and environmental groups are calling for a United Nations moratorium on high seas bottom trawling. The Rainbow Warrior will head out to international waters around New Zealand again to underline the lack of government action in the face of the urgent threat that bottom trawling poses to deep sea life.

"Each day bottom trawling continues, more deep sea life gets wiped out and the situation becomes more critical," said Gravatt.

"A moratorium on bottom trawling in international waters is urgently needed to protect life in the deep sea and New Zealand and Australian Governments should be joining other states in leading the global push for one at the UN."

"Since last year, the New Zealand and Australian Governments have only made statements about establishing a regional fishing agreement. But they have been talking about ways to manage the Tasman Sea for 15 years already and so far failed to come up with any effective biodiversity protection. By the time they sign any agreements, it will be too late."

"The New Zealand and Australian Governments are risking their international reputations and contributing to the destruction of ancient ecosystems we know little about, for the sake of a few fish."

Peter Willcox, captain of the first Rainbow Warrior when it was bombed, will be skippering the ship again during this trip.

"The bombing of the first Rainbow Warrior was a terrible tragedy, but there could not be a better way to commemorate the event than to continue challenging the big environmental issues of today such as bottom trawling in international waters," he said.

For more info:
Carmen Gravatt, Greenpeace Campaigner 021 302 251
Erin Farley, Communications Officer 021 034 8818
Dean Baigent-Mercer, Communications Officer 021 790 817

A daily weblog will be published via satellite from the Rainbow Warrior at: http://weblog.greenpeace.org/deepsea/

High-resolution images and video samples will be available for download at: http://www.greenpeace.gen.nz/gallery/press
Username: media
Password: download
 

erich orser

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Good show! I hope they're able to generate more interest at the U.N. this time, but then that's always an iffy proposition.
 

Steve O'Shea

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Well, she's on her way. Just a few pics of the vessel leaving ...., and of people and stuff.

That's Matt Jones talking to Dean Baigent-Mercer (of Greenpeace) about something to do with green things, fish, bottom trawling and the reckless destruction of the environment and its myriad adorable, cuddly, yet sadly mute invertebrates.
 

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Steve O'Shea

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.... and just a few more.

It's a wet and miserable day here today, but that's not putting them off! They've got big fish to fry.
 

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Phil

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Yes indeed, best of luck to them on this trip.

I'd forgotten how attractive a vessel Rainbow Warrior is. Is it a 1950s design?
 

a rabid squid

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just in case anyone cares about my opinion
i think the idea of stopping bottom trawling is pretty decent even though i dont agree with it i do see the destruction its causing. i just think greenpeace is using a very un-green and un-peaceful way.The Ocean Conservancy another marine concervancy uses the the right idea. they just buy the boats from the fishermen, give them their money for the boat, and let them keep the boat but they cant use it for fishing, everyone wins! this seems better than sueing and causing public panic. this is probably the most sucsessful marine conservancy in my eyes because they do this complete dignity and are respected even by fishermen.
 

Steve O'Shea

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The only problem with this approach, logical as it may well be, is that the government indicated last year (maybe a year earlier) that this was not an option (buying back quota). The industry is seriously overcapitalised ... big, horrendously expensive boats ... All that would happen here is that the tax payer, already overtaxed, would foot the bill of buying back vessels and quota ... and we, the tax payer, are not the ones that are benefiting (financially) from this exercise.

It's a lose-lose situation. I'd rather the few that benefit and exploit suffer than have the masses that don't fork out more hard-earned dollars.

What about the next industry? Mining for instance, or oil. When the oil runs out should a government buy back a rig? When a mine is exhausted does the government buy back the hole? When a fishery is exhausted ... tough ... sink the boats and create artificial reefs ... give something back to the environment that they have destroyed!

Ultimately, when the fisheries collapse, all the vessels will be either tied up or converted into deep-sea manganese-nodule mining ships. Eventually, decades down the line, they will all be scrapped (and all the manganese nodules will also be gone). When the fisheries finally recover, decades if not centuries, perhaps a few restrictions will be placed on fishing ... given people learnt from earlier mistakes ... with only a few boats permitted to work restricted areas; only then will a fishery (like we see today) be sustainable. Boom & bust.
 
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Yep, everyone's happy when it's the Boom part and when they finally see the Bust part arrviing, they blame something for not telling them, that the Boom part cannot be sustained.
 

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