The majority of the fish caught in the United States comes from the Bering Sea. Home to whales, seals, polar bears and underwater canyons teeming with life, the Bering Sea is one of our most productive ecosystems. Just like our national parks, we must protect ecosystems like the Bering Sea whose underwater canyons are larger than the Grand Canyon itself.
Fish depend on essential habitat for their survival. You have scientific evidence that fishing gear has destroyed the coral and sponge habitats in the Bering Sea Canyons. If destructive fishing practices continue in the Bering Sea Canyons we will lose more of the fragile and long-lived coral species that provide critical habitat in this vital ecosystem.
Besides providing deep-sea refuges and nursery areas for fish and marine life in the Bering Sea, Zhemchug and Pribilof Canyons are rare ocean features that fuel the Bering Sea food web through nutrient upwelling, seeding the Green Belt. Submarine canyons like these are found in only 4 percent of the world’s oceans – and these are the largest anywhere. They are the “Grand Canyons” of the sea.
Protection of these unique canyons will play a critical role in sustaining our fisheries and will provide a buffer against the scientific uncertainty that is inherent in fishery science, and insure us against costly mistakes. Marine reserves are a powerful tool for ecosystem-based management and the conservation of ocean wildlife – they have consistently proven to increase the abundance, size, and diversity of fish.
We are not the first to ask you to conserve and protect these invaluable canyons. We urge you to act swiftly now to begin a process to identify measures to protect Zhemchug and Pribilof Canyons – a national treasure that belongs to all of us.
This petition closed over 3 years ago
Polar bears, fur seals, sea lions, walruses, whales and millions of sea birds make their home in the Bering Sea, and beneath the surface abundant life thrives in the Bering Sea Canyons– larger...
Polar bears, fur seals, sea lions, walruses, whales and millions of sea birds make their home in the Bering Sea, and beneath the surface abundant life thrives in the Bering Sea Canyons– larger than the Grand Canyon itself. The importance of this place reaches far beyond its borders as the majority of the fish caught in the United States come from the Bering Sea.
But this spectacular ecosystem is under attack and showing signs of collapse.
Large industrial fishing ships have already mined more than 150 billion pounds of fish from the Bering Sea — bulldozing over delicate deep sea corals and unique species of sponges in the process. The effect on the ecosystem has been devastating.
It's not too late to protect Alaska's Bering Sea. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is tasked with managing this national resource. We need protection for oceans worldwide, and we can start with protecting the health of the Bering Sea.
Greenpeace is leading a worldwide effort to set aside 40% of our oceans as marine reserves. A global network of ocean parks-like Yellowstones of the sea- will allow marine life to flourish and help restore the diversity that once characterized our waters.
Today, less than one percent of the world's oceans are set aside as marine reserves. If we don't do more to protect and manage our oceans they aren't going to survive. Nowhere is that more important than the Bering Sea and its amazing canyons.
Tell the NPFMC to protect the Bering Sea Canyons. We can't afford to lose them.