UN sea turtle recommendation criticised – urgent conservation measures needed, say environmentalists – Fishupdate.com

UN sea turtle recommendation criticised – urgent conservation measures needed, say environmentalists Published:  06 October, 2005

TODAY the UN General Assembly will begin considering a recommendation to prevent the further decline of endangered sea turtles. The recommendation, which some environmentalists say will not do enough to prevent the imminent extinction of the leatherback sea turtle in the Pacific, will be included in a resolution up for a General Assembly vote on November 28th. Environmentalists are instead calling on the UN to strengthen the recommendation by implementing urgently needed conservation measures.

To date, 1,007 scientists from 97 nations, 231 non-governmental organizations from 62 nations and thousands of other citizens from many countries that have called on the United Nations urging it to implement a moratorium on high seas pelagic longline fishing in the Pacific. The letter has been signed by eminent scientists including biologist Dr. E. O. Wilson, Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE and Dr. Sylvia Earle.

“While we praise the UN for finally calling for action to reduce the threats to sea turtles from deadly longline fishing, we need more than talk. We need scientifically proven measures that can save the leatherback from extinction,” said Dr Robert Ovetz, Save the Leatherback Campaign Coordinator with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. The General Assembly has also been asked by two countries to put the problem of the bycatch of marine species by industrial fishing on the agenda of the next meeting of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea which will take place in June 2006.

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