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Action Alert! Protests in Long Beach to Stop the Pillage of our Oceans

by Robert Ovetz Wednesday, Oct. 01, 2003 at 12:40 PM
robert@seaturtles.org 4154880370 ext 106

Shut down the West Coast Seafood Show/National Fisheries Institute Meetings, Oct. 11-12, October in Long Beach

Please help us spread the word about our upcoming actions in Long Beach. We would like to invite you to participate in our upcoming activities during the National Fisheries Institute conference and its International West Coast Seafood Show in Long Beach California October 11-12. The National Fisheries Institute is an official advisor to the US Trade Representative which is attempting to privatize the oceans through the WTO, a promoter of aquaculture and fish farming, and opposed to mercury warnings and “eco-labeling” of seafood. Rising attention is finally being given to the rapid depletion of the oceans and devastating maiming and slaughter of millions of sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, porpoises, whales, seabirds, sea lions, and marlins each year as so-called “bycatch”. Each year, about 40,000 sea turtles are killed by longline fishing. Massive destruction of ocean habitat is taking place by the clearcutting of the ocean floor and destruction of coral reefs by trawling. We are currently working on efforts to reduce the targeting, selling, serving and consumption of Pacific swordfish caught by pelagic longline fishing, which is responsible for the decline of the Pacific leatherback sea turtle by 95% in the past 20 years. Our petition for an emergency UN moratorium on Pacific longline fishing has been signed by more than 500 scientists, including the reknown biologist E.O. Wilson. The call for a moratorium originally appeared as a New York Times ad in February 18, 2003. We have also been successful in efforts to close much of the water around Hawaii to longlining under a 1999 Federal Court order. The widespread attention also being given to the consumption of dangerously high levels of mercury in predatory fish such as swordfish has brought added attention. We are campaigning to support and promote the mandated posting of California Prop 65 meythlmercury warnings at all restaurants and supermarkets. Our petition campaign asking the multinational restaurant chain Red Lobster, the world’s largest casual seafood restaurant, to remove swordfish from its menu has just met with success as the company recently announced its voluntary compliance. As an organization concerned with and working on peace and justice issues we would like to invite you to join us in our efforts to raise these issues at the events in Long Beach next October 11-12. We plan to organize a variety of media events, street theatre, the distribution of information about these issues and other creative activities to put fishery and oceans issues more vividly on the public radar. If you would like to co-sponsor, participate in or support our efforts in any way I would love to hear from you. We will have transportation and housing for anyone who would like to participate. If you are unable to participate perhaps you would be willing to inform your membership of these events and two campaigns? More information about our campaigns can be found on our website at www.seaturtles.org. Stay tuned for further activities in San Francisco on October 25 as we launch our massive media campaign to save the Pacific leatherback. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Robert -- Robert Ovetz, Ph.D. Marine Species Campaigner Turtle Island Restoration Network PO Box 400 Forest Knolls, CA 94933 USA +1 415 488 0370 ext. 106 www.seaturtles.org
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