The rally was held in St Ives, Cornwall, on the first day of the G7 Summit, hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and attended by G7 leaders including US President Joe Biden.
The demonstration was organized by Ocean Rebellion – an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion with a focus on protecting the world’s oceans.
In addition to the “mass stranding of the mermaids,” the group also sounded a foghorn outside the Tregenna Castle hotel, where delegates are staying to wake them “from their listless dreams,” said Ocean Rebellion.
The group sounded the fog siren in five long blasts – the SOS maritime signal – to warn of “the imminent death of the oceans should the G7 heads of state fail in their high duty to act.”
“We believe there is still time for them to make a difference,” said Sophie Miller, spokeswoman for Ocean Rebellion The Independent on Friday. “There is still time for them to choose to do the right thing.”
There is still time for them to sever their ties to fossil fuels and we want them to be brave, take action and act now
Sophie Miller, Ocean Rebellion
“There is still time for them to act to prevent catastrophic climate change,” she said. “There is still time for them to sever their ties to fossil fuels and we want them to be brave, take action and act now.”
Miller said the group is demanding that the G7 put the world’s ocean at the top of the agenda.
The group called for a “global emergency ban” on the practice of bottom trawling – a commercial fishing method that involves dragging heavy nets across the seabed to capture large numbers of fish – before the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, happen Place, put.
“Bottom trawl emits more carbon than all of global aviation,” Miller said. “So even if everyone stops bottom trawling now… it won’t have enough impact.” ONE recent study suggested that fishing boats sailing on the ocean floor release as much carbon dioxide as the entire aviation industry.
The spokesman said G7 leaders must act to end environmentally devastating intensive fishing methods.
“We are facing a total catastrophe. If the sea dies, we die,” said Miller.
The Marine Conservation Institute, a Seattle-based nonprofit that works to protect the world’s oceans, has long warned that “destructive fishing is among the most significant threats to productive oceans and healthy wildlife populations “with 90 percent of global fish populations fully caught or overexploited.”
“Overfishing – catching more fish than the ocean can produce – has been a constant challenge for fisheries managers for decades,” says the institute on its website.
Trawling, says the institute, can also “cause tremendous damage to … surrounding ecosystems.”
“These networks are capable of destroying huge areas of fragile deep-sea habitats, including fragile ecosystems of cold-water corals and sponges,” he says. “Once destroyed, these ancient and ecologically vital communities can take decades or more to recover.”
In a separate statement, Ocean Rebellion’s Clive Russell said: “It’s time for the G7 heads of state to get a grip.”
“Bottom trawl alone accounts for 13 percent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions,” Russell said.
“It’s a no-brainer to banish it globally – industrial-scale vandalism like this has no place on a living planet.”
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