Greenpeace announced today that the environmental group, along with others, will converge in Juneau to urge the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to protect Alaska’s Bering Sea, a “unique ecosystem” they said that is “currently threatened by a billion dollar fishing industry.”
The group also announced, weather permitting, that Greenpeace will also fly its thermal airship over Juneau with a 75-foot whale-themed banner with the aim to urge onlookers to help protect the “Grand Canyons of the Sea.”
“The Bering Sea is home to one of the most remarkable places in the world, ‘the Grand Canyons of the Sea,’” Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Jackie Dragon said. “Tragically, this ecosystem is under threat from industrial fishing fleets that carve up the fragile corals and sponges on the sea floor. The science is clear, and the people have spoken: It is time to protect these spectacular canyons.”
According to a release from the organization, Greenpeace is just one of many groups who have been asking the body that oversees the fisheries in the Bering Sea, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, to protect the canyons from industrial fishing fleets. The organization stated the council is "coming together just as the NPFMC is preparing to decide the canyon’s fate this week." The release stated that a review, just published by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, concluded that the canyons likely contain over a third of the Bering Sea’s coral habitat, and they are at high risk of impact from industrial fishing.
“We’re here in Juneau at an exciting time,” Dragon said, “just as the North Pacific Fishery Management Council prepares to decide whether to protect America’s Grand Canyons of the Sea, or to keep the status quo. We hope they will consider the scientific research Greenpeace and others have conducted and do the right thing.”
The Greenpeace airship flew over Seattle to help celebrate the Bering Sea Canyons last month.