Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why does Bottom Trawling Continue? Blame Canada (seriously)

Are you against whaling? So am I. But there are worse activities than whaling. Top of my list would be "bottom trawling."

The world came very close to banning "bottom trawling" in the fall of 2006. Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and the United States tried hard to get the UN General Assembly to ban this destructive fishing practice.

How destructive? It's unbelievable, you can read about it here.

Only eleven nations have high-seas bottom trawling fleets -- Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia and Spain.

But thanks in large measure to the efforts of the Canadian government, we are back to the status quo:
Supporters of the ban said Canada's stance compromised prospects for stronger UN protections. . . . Canada has a fleet of bottom trawlers operating within Canadian waters. Its concern has been that a moratorium on the high seas could later be expanded to cover areas within national jurisdiction.
Basically, Canada worked hard to get a compromise proposal that ruined the chance of securing a world-wide ban on this destructive fishing practice. As this Greenpeace report indicates, Spain was also an major obstacle, but Canada -- because they did not even have a deep sea bottom trawling industry to defend --bears the fullest moral burden for having allowed this barbaric practice to continue.

This video was made prior to the vote last November at the UN. In case you missed it, it's hilarious.
A vote and an opportunity may have been lost -- thanks largely to Canada -- but the issue needs to go straight to top of the global agenda. The first time round, this urgent issue never received a fraction of the publicity it deserved.