OTTAWA - Later this week, UN
policy-makers will review the impacts of bottom trawling, also known as
dragging, which is known to be the most destructive method of fishing currently
being used. “The Green Party has been calling for a ban on bottom
trawling for many years based on scientific findings that show this method of
fishing is decimating the ocean floor,” said Green Fisheries Critic Janice Harvey.
“We urge every Canadian to get involved and make their voice heard that this
practice should be banned globally.”
Avaaz.org has collected
over four hundred thousand signatures on a petition directed to the UN General
Assembly. The US and Australia have already banned bottom trawling in
their waters, a position which Canada’s Conservative government has so far
refused to support.
Bottom trawling involves
dragging a net the size of a soccer field, held open by heavy metal doors,
along the sea floor, catching everything in its path, including valuable coral
reefs, and creating a swath of destroyed ocean floor in the process.
Almost half of what a bottom trawler catches are non-target species, which are
thrown overboard dead or dying, including crab, squid, shark, sponge and coral.
“A ban is essential to
adequately protect marine habitat from bottom-trawling,” said Harvey.
“Our fisheries are in peril – threatened by bioaccumulation of toxic chemicals,
oil and gas spills and exploration, and climate change. Bottom trawling
is something that we can control and that we can take action on
immediately. A ban would go a long way toward lessening the pressure on
our marine ecosystems.”
“The world is watching
and hoping that Canada will join other countries in working to end this
devastating practice of bottom-trawling,” said Leader Elizabeth May. “We
hope the pressure of the UN will be instrumental in ensuring that Canada agree
to a global ban.”