Public calls for action on high seas bottom trawling destruction

Date: April 18, 2006

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition today posted postcards from the public to the Australian Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell. The cards, titled ‘Help save the ancient forests of the deep seas’, described some of the destructive impacts impacts of bottom trawling. The cards asked the Minister to “become a champion for the high seas” by supporting a global moratorium on high seas bottom trawling. Cards were distributed throughout Australia.

The card featured the June 2005 photo of a human size piece of ancient coral being thrown off a bottom trawler in the Tasman Sea. So far there have been responses from all States and Territories and some people added their own messages: “Please help us conserve our precious ocean for the sake of our children and country and future” “The Australian government, with its diverse wildlife and environment, should be one of the first governments in the world to sign up for all great environmental projects – but instead pathetic excuses are made and we do nothing.” “Make me proud, Ian” “P.S. BE INNOVATIVE. I am sure the fishing industry could come up with different ideas too” “I urge you to take action and support the proposed UN moratorium. The basis and management of must shift to sustainability and Australia must do all it can to bring this about.” “I urge you to take steps to stop this destruction.” The cards were posted today to the Minister’s office in Canberra, along with an electronic list of the people who had sent them, so that he has no reason not to respond to those who had taken time out to write with the call to save the high seas from the destructive impacts of bottom trawling. The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition has been pleased with the support for the postcard so far and urges people to continue to ask the Australian government to support the growing momentum for a global moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.

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