Monday, May 07, 2007

Banning bottom trawling

For the past couple of years, Greenpeace and other environmental organisations have waged a campaign against bottom trawling. And it's not hard to see why: it's incredibly environmentally destructive. Now in a major victory for the environment, the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation has banned bottom trawling on the high seas in the South Pacific - an area including 25% of the world's oceans.

From the BBC story, it seems that New Zealand opposed the measure - but checking other sources, it seems that New Zealand proposed the motion, in full awareness of the consequences for the fishing industry:

Recognizing that the new agreement would mean an end to high seas bottom trawling, New Zealand, the nation responsible for some 90% of the high seas bottom trawling in the area, put forward the proposal and said: "... in putting forward the draft we are aware that adoption of this text would severely constrain the ability of the New Zealand fishing industry to continue bottom trawling on the high seas around New Zealand. Because of the cost implications of the necessary research and assessment and observer requirements, it may even have the effect of putting an end to bottom trawling."

Whether the ban will work remains to be seen, but it's a start, and a pretty good one at that.