Thursday, December 14, 2006


Final U.N. General Assembly resolution

As expected, on December 8, the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly adopted a broad international fisheries resolution that failed to include language that would have put in place a temporary moratorium on high seas bottom-trawling. Bottom trawling is a fishing method that involves commercial vessels dragging heavy nets across the sea floor, indiscriminately destroying delicate marine life in their paths.

A pathetic draft resolution adopted by the committee recommends that nations ensure vessels are not causing harm, or cease to authorize vessels flying their flag to bottom trawl on the high seas.

United States Assistant Secretary of State Claudia McMurray said "there were several countries that really didn't want any controls at all. Unfortunately the resolution comes up short. We're very disappointed this is the result we ended up with".

The UN committee's alternative measures are the status quo, leaving it up to countries to decide whether bottom trawling gear is used.

It is a tragic setback for the protection of high seas biodiversity after so much progress has been made during the last two years in gaining international support, and a majority of nations sought immediate control of high seas bottom trawling.

Some statements made on December 7th, 2006 at the U.N. Oceans Debate are provided below.

Australia (Statement by HE Frances Lisson, Ambassador and Dep. Permanent Representative):

Australia welcomes this year's resolution which we see as an important advance in international efforts to regulate high seas bottom trawling....Australia is disappointed, however, that the resolution does not contain a prohibition on bottom trawling in unmanaged high seas areas. Such a ban would have been an effective incentive for the establishment of competent and modern RFMOs, while providing protection for vulnerable marine ecosystems in the absence of such regulation.

Pacific Island Forum Nations (Stated made by Ambassador to Palau, Stuart Beck):

We consider that an interim prohibition would have been the clearest and most effective means for dealing with the impacts of bottom fishing in areas where there are no multilateral measures in place, and none in prospect. An interim prohibition would have further encouraged the development of new RFMOs for unregulated areas. We were further disappointed that a small number of States were not willing to consider a freeze on the expansion of bottom fisheries in unregulated waters from current levels.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


A sad day for the world

Early this morning, the U.N. negotiations came to an end. And while Australia, New Zealand, and many other nations were pushing for a moratorium on the unregulated high seas, in the end a moratorium was not included in the resolution to be passed by consensus. Sadly, a critical opportunity to effectively address the critical destruction of bottom-trawling was lost today. You can read a joint press release from Canadian environmental groups here:

Also, it has become abundantly clear that if the governments of the world are not going to take critical action to protect marine habitat, then it is up to the public to vote with their wallets and not buy fish that are caught in an unsustainable manner. To find out what SEAFOOD CHOICES you can make to ensure that you are not supporting the destruction of the marine environment, go to:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Susanna Fuller in New York

Sponge biologist Susanna Fuller is in New York as the Canadian NGO representative at the U.N. negotiations on bottom-trawling. This round of negotiations began on Friday, November 17th and end on Wednesday, November 22nd. Here Susanna shows off her stylish orange evening gown for her glamorous evenings in New York.


Marine life seeks refuge at the U.N.

On Monday, a crab, fish, and lobster sought refuge at the United Nations from the bottom-trawlers on the high seas.


Cats for a high seas moratorium

Guinness the cat, from Chester Basin, Nova Scotia, shows that even cats understand that unregulated dragging means no fish habitat and that means no fish.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Just read the science!

Researchers Dr. Richard Haedrich, Dr. Evan Edinger, and Dr. Paul Snelgrove stand with graduate students at Memorial University to show their support for a moratorium on high seas bottom-trawling. All three professors research aspects of the deep-sea environment. They stand here holding various scientific papers and quotes from well-known researchers that deal with the state of the deep-seas and the impacts of bottom-trawling. They ask the government to simply "JUST READ THE SCIENCE!"


St. John's East MP stands up for the high seas

NDP MP Lorraine Michael just won the by-election in St. John's East. She stands here with CODCO's Greg Malone to show that she supports a U.N. moratorium on high seas bottom-trawling.


Former fisherwoman supports a moratorium

Julie Huntington, former prawn fisherwoman and net maker, has seen firsthand the damage that bottom-trawling can cause. She stood up last Monday for the high seas, asking Canada's Fisheries Minister to support a moratorium.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Support from Cowtown!

Here, supporters from Calgary, Alberta give a thumbs up to a high seas moratorium on bottom-trawling.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


No seafood by 2050.......

Dr. Boris Worm, Dr. Heike Lotze, and PhD biology students at Dalhousie University dress as tubeworms on Halloween to show their support for a high seas moratorium on bottom-trawling.

Dr. Worm and Dr. Lotze are co-authors of a paper in Science that was released today that indicates that fish stocks will be gone in 50 years if humans do not make drastic changes, including seriously address the impacts of bottom-trawling.

Read about this new finding here:


Witches for a moratorium!

This witch sent in a photo demonstrating that even wicked witches support a high seas moratorium on bottom-trawling


Don't drag us down!

Graduate students in the Biology Department at Dalhousie University dressed up as marine life to show their support for a moratorium. Don't be a crab, support a moratorium!


Standing up for the high seas in Times Square

While visiting in New York City, Dalhousie University student Tyler Jordan took this photo in Times Square, showing his support for a moratorium on bottom-trawling.


Fish friends support a moratorium

Sue Westby of Northwest Cove, Nova Scotia, sent in this photo of support for the U.N. call for a moratorium on bottom-trawling in international waters


Scientists support a high seas moratorium!

The research labs of biologists Dr. Lawrence Dill and Dr. Isabelle Cote at Simon Fraser University sent in this photo of support for a high seas moratorium

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Moratorium Monday in Toronto

Torontonians at Bloor and Spadina saw witches and goblins in the streets yesterday demonstrating their support for a high seas moratorium.


Mr. Hearn, do the right thing

Last weekend, Robin Wilcocks stood on Parliament Hill with a simple message for Loyola Hearn "Do the right thing".


Scientist standing up for the high seas

Dr. Evan Edinger of Memorial University stands outside the Newfoundland and Labrador Confederation Building to urge Canada to support the UN moratorium on bottom trawling. Dr. Edinger studies deep sea corals and says that they will only survive in areas that are not bottom trawled. We need to protect them now because if we damage them they will not grow back in our lifetime.


Moratorium Monday in St. John's

Citizens gathered in St. John's to urge Minister Hearn to be "Loyal" to oceans protection by supporting an international United Nations temporary time out on bottom dragging.


Moratorium Monday in Edmonton!

Yesterday in Edmonton, supporters of a high seas dragging moratorium stood on Whyte Avenue with signs, handed out fact sheets to pedestrians, and enjoyed the honks of support from passing cars.


Yesterday in Halifax, professors, graduate students, and scientists in biology, oceanography, and environmental science stood in the streets to ask Loyola Hearn and PM Harper to listen to scientists and support a moratorium. Read a Chronicle-Herald article about the event here:

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