"Some of the most productive marine fishing methods are also the most damaging, and should be restricted or banned... Today, more than 400 leading scientists called today for the United Nations to issue a moratorium on longline and gillnet fishing, methods they say are wiping out populations of fish, turtles, marine mammals and other species" (ENS, 2003).

Not only is our impact on marine wildlife large, it is increasing. The oceans were once thought to be vast and inexhaustible. Today, we know they are not.

The leatherback turtle provides an unhappy example of the problem that we face. This creature has fallen victim to longline fishing for far too long and far too often. Scientists estimate the number of nesting female leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean to be 5,000. In 1980, this number was 91,000. The turtle has thus far suffered a 95% decline (ENS, 2003).

Other species are falling victim to our destructive fishing methods. Longlines and driftnets catch vast amounts of non-target species yearly. Fish raised in fish farms may contain up to ten times more toxic chemicals than fish raised in the wild.

Obviously, the time has come when we must stand up and demand less destruction and less pollution of our oceans and the creatures that marine ecosystems sustain.

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