Oceana announced its outreach program for the scuba diving community today following the presidential announcement calling on the United Nations to eliminate destructive fishing practices on deep-sea corals and seamounts.
"With this website Oceana invites the scuba diving community and people interested in finding out about this exciting sport to dive actively into conservation of the marine environment," said Dave Allison, Director of Oceana's campaign to stop destructive trawling. "Oceana is particularly committed to protecting deep-sea coral and sponge habitat, which increasing numbers of divers are experiencing personally."
This past week President Bush showed support for improved ocean management by endorsing regulation and potential elimination of destructive fishing on the high seas. Oceana, an international ocean policy advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., applauds this move, and considers it a success in its campaign to restrict bottom trawling and dredging, which decimate ocean habitats like deep-sea corals and sponges by dragging heavy nets along the ocean floor. These coral and sponge habitats are critical parts of healthy ocean ecosystems that divers and non-divers alike depend on. The president's announcement is the result of years of advocacy, legislative efforts and commitment by concerned groups such as scuba divers.
Oceana is continuing its policy of encouraging ocean users to conserve, protect and restore the oceans by unveiling a new website (www.oceana.org/dive) dedicated to the scuba diving community. The website, a key component of Oceana's diver outreach program, will act as a resource for concerned divers to learn more about threats to marine ecosystems and ways they can become involved in ocean conservation, including opportunities to influence regional and national fisheries policies. In addition, it will be a resource for learning fun ocean facts and for linking up with other divers who share their love for the ocean and commitment to the future.