On Tuesday, the White House issued a statement calling for a halt to destructive bottom trawling on the high seas and promised that the U.S. “would work with other nations and international groups to change fishing practices and create international fishery regulatory groups if needed.” See — who said the White House doesn’t play nice with other countries? Oh right, lots of people.
But all of that is about to change. Right now the United Nations is meeting in NY, where conservationists hope it will ban bottom fishing on the high seas, especially where it’s unregulated. The U.S. joins Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and South Africa in supporting the moratorium.
And the good news doesn’t end there. President Bush also called on Congress to pass the Magnuson Stevens Act reauthorization (for you non-fishheads, this is the constitution of ocean conservation). Of course, he neglected to mention what the MSA should include (nobody’s perfect).
Fortunately, Oceana is more than happy to fill in the blanks, and we’ll be working with Congress to make sure deep-sea corals and sponges are protected through the MSA reauthorization.