United Nations to consider deep sea trawling ban

UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations needs to stop the destruction of deep sea ecosystems by banning fishermen from trawling nets on the ocean floor, Australia, New Zealand and Palau, joined by actress Sigourney Weaver, said today.

The 192-member United Nations General Assembly is due to begin debating this week an Australian-led plan to ban deep sea bottom trawling in unmanaged high seas and impose tougher regulation of other destructive fishing practices.

The European Commission, executive of the 25-member European Union, has said it would support a ban on deep sea trawling. UN General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, but they reflect the will of the international community.

About 64 per cent of the world’s ocean is in international waters, of which about three-quarters is unmanaged, according to the Pew Institute for Ocean Science.

“The world’s oceans are facing a crisis,” Weaver told a news conference, adding that deep sea bottom trawling was “raping these oceans beyond site and beyond regulation”.

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