Please Help Protect Alaska's Ocean Ecosystems. The public comment
period ends April 15, 2004 i.e. TODAY - please sign now!
Bottom trawling fishing practices are a major threat to Alaska's
diverse and fragile ocean ecosystems. Like clear-cutting of old growth
forests, fishing vessels equipped with bottom tending gear cause
extensive and long-term damage to deepwater coral habitat.
Take action to protect our oceans and it's creatures! Please help by
signing this petition. It takes 30 seconds and will really help.
Please forward this email to others you believe share your concern.
<b> Alaskan waters are among the world's most diverse, productive and
complex marine ecosystems. The seafloor of the North Pacific Ocean is
adorned with magnificent, yet fragile, communities of deepwater coral
and sponge , which recent scientific studies show provides essential
habitat to fish, crabs and other marine life. Ongoing loss of this
habitat, however, places the health of these remarkable deepwater
ocean ecosystems at risk. </b>
Like clear-cutting of old growth forests, bottom trawling fishing
vessels cause extensive damage to deepwater coral habitat, potentially
causing long-term changes to the entire marine ecosystem.
For eight years, the federal National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
has failed to protect Alaska's waters from the harmful effects of
fishing, as required by law. In response to a court order, NMFS has
finally drafted an Essential Fish Habitat Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) for the North Pacific, which includes the Gulf of
Alaska, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands. This EIS contains several
alternatives to protect habitat from ongoing destruction, but
amazingly recommends taking no action to do so!
NMFS must take action to implement measures contained in the Essential
Fish Habitat alternatives to:
* Establish a network of marine reserves to fully protect 20 to 30
percent of all marine habitats (Alternative 6), or
* At a minimum, significantly increase protection for sensitive
habitats by requiring less damaging fishing gear and reductions in
allowable catch (Alternative 5-B), and
* Augment Alternative 5-B by adding fully protected "Habitat Areas of
Particular Concern", such as seamounts, pinnacles, coral gardens, and
Sign this petition to submit your public comments to support
protecting Alaska's marine habitats from harmful fishing practices!
The public comment period ends April 15, 2004 - please sign today!