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 TT News


Bush seeks ban on destructive sea fishing
October 3rd 2006 4:27pm
Associated Press


WASHINGTON - President Bush called for a halt to all types of destructive fishing on the high seas Tuesday, saying the United States will work to eliminate practices such as bottom trawling that devastate fish populations and the ocean floor.


Bush's memo directs the secretaries of the State and Commerce departments to promote "sustainable" fisheries and to oppose any fishing practices "that destroy the long-term natural productivity of fish stocks or habitats such as seamounts, corals, and sponge fields for short-term gain."

Bush also said the United States would work with other nations and international groups to change fishing practices and create new international fishery regulatory groups if needed.

On the high seas, where the vast marine life knows few laws, hundreds of boats drag huge nets along the sea floor scooping up orange roughy, blue ling and other fish - but bulldozing nearly everything else in their path.

"It's like clear-cutting the forest to catch a squirrel," said Joshua Reichert, head of the private Pew Charitable Trusts' environment program, which has been leading an international coalition of more than 60 conservation groups seeking to halt the practice known as bottom trawling on the high seas.

This week, the groups and some U.S. senators hope to persuade the United Nations to ban bottom trawling anywhere that it's unregulated. U.N. negotiations over high seas fishing start Wednesday in New York.










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