By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
ENVIRONMENTAL group Greenpeace brought their “Defending the Mediterranean” campaign to Palma yesterday on board the Arctic Sunrise
The Arctic Sunrise is spearheading Greenpeace's campaign for a global network of fully protected marine reserves covering 40 percent of our oceans in a bid to protect our seas from climate change, to restore the health of fish stocks and protect marine life from habit destruction and collapse.

On board the Arctic Sunrise are marine scientists and doctors from the Barcelona Institute for Marine Science and Spain's Council for Scientific Investigation and since July 9, the campaign ship and her crew have been operating in Balearic waters documenting threats to the sea and promoting the designation of marine reserves.

Greenpeace is also paying special attention to the plight of Bluefin Tuna stocks which is the target of the highest level of illegal drift net fishing in the world.

Last year, for example, scientists claim that over 60'000 tonnes of Bluefin Tuna was trawled, well over double the permitted legal amount of 29'500 tonnes and the Arctic Sunrise has already confronted illegal Italian and Turkish trawlers in local waters.

The three-month expedition actually began in May in the Eastern Mediterranean and Greenpeace said in Palma yesterday that the Mediterranean Sea “is in crisis and the (fishing) industry is fishing itself to death.” “Swordfish stocks are dwindling and drift nets go on reaping a deadly bycatch (catching everything in their path). We are urging all Mediterranean countries to unite and protect the seas - to stop illegal fishing and preserve their shared marine resources. If we want fish for the future we need reserves now.” For more information and to help log on to www.greenpeace.org

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