Green issue drives onto Main Street - Oceana USA
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May 1, 2007

Green issue drives onto Main Street

Tom Friedman, in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, makes the point that green is the color that can unite the red and blue states.

At Oceana we have found that conservation issues can and do cross party lines. For example, the Bush administration (yes, the Bush administration!) recently — after working closely with our organization and other groups — submitted a proposal in the ongoing World Trade Organization talks that would significantly cut fisheries subsidies.

In case you don’t know, fisheries subsidies amount to $30 billion to $34 billion per year. These massive subsidies have helped produce an international fishing fleet that is up to 250 percent greater than that needed to fish sustainably.

Subsidies are viewed by many leading scientists as a primary cause of overcapacity, leading to overfishing and the current depleted status of many of the world’s fisheries stocks. Eliminating overfishing subsidies is the largest single action that can be taken to protect the oceans.

So, while we hope that green issues can bring all of the world together, we do believe and know that the (ocean) blue ones can.</p