Thursday, September 11, 2014

Re-posting: Protect our Underwater Heritage

Protect the UK’s marine heritage from destruction!

Foreign fishing vessels destroy in the blink of an eye what took thousands of years to form in the deep waters of the UK. Tell the UK government to protect our heritage!

The deep sea to the west of the British Isles is home to an incredible diversity of long-lived and extremely vulnerable species and ecosystems that may be wiped out clean in just seconds by heavy industrial fishing gear. Fishing vessels, mainly from France and Spain, trawl our deep waters all year-round to catch a few deep-sea fish that do not even make their way into the UK market. In so doing, giant nets equivalent to underwater bulldozers can crush corals thousands of years old and reduce bottom habitat to rubble. The nets pull up anything in their path, including large numbers of endangered deep-sea sharks which are found off our coast.

Just as we wouldn’t allow Stonehenge to be bulldozed, we must also protect our unseen natural heritage.

Deep-sea bottom trawling has been recognized by scientists as one of the most destructive fishing methods in history. Now, we have a chance to put an end to this madness: a ban of deep-sea bottom trawling in the northeast Atlantic is being discussed by European Fisheries Ministers. More than 300 international scientists have called on European governments to support the ban of deep-sea bottom trawling but the UK Fisheries Minister, George Eustice, has so far supported France and Spain in opposing the ban instead of protecting our exceptional natural underwater heritage.

Tell the UK government to stop the blind and unnecessary destruction of some of our richest and most vulnerable marine environments.

Sign this petition to ask the UK government to support ending deep-sea bottom trawling.

Thank you for your support.

As part of the project Lush staff across Europe have been wearing body paint to tell the story of deep-sea destruction, symbolising the amazing diversity of deep-sea life by creating deep-sea body painting. Below are some of my favourite but see more on the Guardian article here

Also this campaign has the best hashtag ever:  #handsoffourbottom

Coryphaenoides rupestris Roundnose Grenadier. Milan, Italy. Photograph: Bloom Association/LUSH

Histioteuthis Heteropsis Jewel squid. Make up by Lorna Strachan, Glasgow, Scotland. Photograph: Felicity Millward/Bloom Association/LUSH

Stauroteuthis syrtensis Dumbo octopus. Make up by Léonie Gené, Hamburg, Germany. Photograph: Janine Gallert/Bloom Association/LUSH

Histioteuthis Heteropsis Jewel squid. Make up by Carolyn Roper, London. Photograph: Richard Skyns/Bloom Association/LUSH

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