In the above ad, William Shatner brings a dose of levity to an otherwise serious subject: Grand Canyons of the Sea habitat destruction. “Lacking opposable thumbs, Kipper [the goldfish] can’t take action, but you can,” the legendary actor quips.
Despite Shatner’s jovial tone, the spot from Greenpeace USA is a serious plea to combat destruction of the Bering Sea canyons. In a press release from the environmental group, Greenpeace USA senior oceans campaigner Jackie Dragon is quoted as saying:
“Alaska’s Bering Sea is home to one of the most remarkable places in the world, an area so rich with life scientists call it ‘the Green Belt’... Tragically, this amazing ecosystem is under serious threat from industrial fishing fleets that carve up the corals and sponges with their trawl nets. Bottom-tending fishing gear--especially trawl nets--destroys fragile corals and sponges that provide essential habitat, including spawning and nursery areas for fish, crab, and other marine species.”
Greenpeace claims that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), which is the body responsible for the area, has been dragging their feet when it comes to protecting the Green Belt ecosystem. According to the NPFMC website, the group has been unable to move forward with preservation due to a lack of scientific evidence, but considers the Bering Sea one of their top research priorities over the next 5 years.
“This will be the year the council decides either to consider the science and create a pathway to protect the canyons, or to ignore the science and continue the destruction,” said Dragon.