Saturday, October 28, 2006


Re: Canada joining the majority of the international community in support of a UN moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.

I am concerned and disappointed that Canada's new government has announced it will oppose a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling at the upcoming meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.

Given the known impacts of bottom trawl gear on the ocean floor, our lack of knowledge about deep-sea habitats and species and the complete lack of regulation on an estimated 75% of the high seas, it is essential that Canada take action. I urge you to join responsible nations like the United States, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. in their support of a UN resolution establishing a temporary "time out" from destructive bottom trawl fishing
Canada does not have any bottom trawlers fishing on the high seas, thus supporting a moratorium poses no threat to the livelihoods of Canadian fisher. It does, however, have much to gain. A moratorium on high seas bottom trawling would solve the long-standing problem of unregulated bottom trawling on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.

In June of this year, your Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn said that, "bottom trawling does damage to the stocks, and it does damage to habitat". Having acknowledged this, Canada has a responsibility to take leadership on the international stage and support a moratorium. By joining with nations like Spain (which is responsible for most the high seas bottom trawling) in opposing the moratorium, Canada is allowing the destruction of un-charted habitat in unregulated seas to continue unabated.

Prime Minister, please reconsider your position on high seas bottom trawling. Listen to the scientists, fishermen, Canadians and the global public who are calling for protection of deep sea life. Become a deep-sea defender and support a UN moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.

1 comment:

Deepseas said...

Hi Timothy,
Great letter to the PM! Have you checked out the blog Canadians, including David Suzuki, Farley Mowat, and Elizabeth May all have sent in photos of themselves holding up signs. There's one person holding a sign underwater. This blog is meant to give Canadians a chance to show the government that Canadians care and want Canada to support a U.N. moratorium on high seas bottom-trawling. Keep up the good work!