The South Pacific nations recently agreed to stop bottom trawling to protect corals and other marine life. Bottom trawling is a fishing method
where boats tow heavy trawl nets along the sea floor. This destroys coral reefs and stirs up the sediments suffocating marine life.
The agreement, reached on May 5, 2007, in Reaca, Chile, comes into force from September 30, 2007, in more than 20 South Pacific countries. It will ban bottom trawling in areas where vulnerable marine ecosystems exist. Concessions will, however, be given if precautionary measures are undertaken. Environmental groups welcomed the agreement. "This is an important step in protecting the irreplaceable biodiversity of deep sea ecosystems," said Mike Hagler of Greenpeace, New Zealand.
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