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Australia shows leadership on protecting deep-sea biodiversity.

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Australia shows leadership on protecting deep-sea biodiversity

Senator Rachel Siewert, Monday, 25th September 2006

Senator Siewert has welcomed the announcement that Australia will lead the way on the protection of marine biodiversity by proposing tough new measures at this year's United Nations General Assembly.

"Australia will propose a ban on potentially destructive fishing practices, such as deep-sea trawling, in fragile marine ecosystems," said Senator Siewert.

"Australia is finally recognising the need for urgent action to complement long term measures to protect deep sea biodiversity."

"The important point is that the ban will require proponents to demonstrate scientifically that any proposed activity will not cause damage to these ecosystems before any fishing can recommence," said Senator Siewert.

"If this is backed up by strong scientific criteria and rigorous compliance measures then it will be world's best practice in science-based sustainable management."

"Australia will have its work cut out for it in the lead up to the UN General Assembly determination in November," she said.

"It will have to convince the US (along with its supporters Canada and Japan) to move away from their current unhelpful position and to support sustainable long-term science-based protection and management of our deep seas."

"The Government announcement is also significant as it was only a few months ago that they refused to support my motion calling for short-term measures to protect the deep seas from the destructive fishing practice of bottom trawling until longer term arrangements were in place," said Senator Siewert.

For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025