For Immediate Release

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Marianne Cufone or Erin Greenfield (202) 683-2500

World Oceans Day: Setting Sail to Keep Oceans in Public Hands

Statement of Maude Barlow, Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly and President of the Food & Water Watch Board of Directors

WASHINGTON - "We have our oceans to thank for making life possible. Their waters cover nearly three quarters - more than 130 million square miles - of the planet's surface. They host a vast array of life and power climactic cycles that support and sustain everyone and everything on Earth. Indeed, one could make the case that without the oceans all life here would dry up and die out.

"Unfortunately a tide of exploitation and pollution is running against these great bodies of blue. The clutches of greed have foisted upon them an array of wasteful and inefficient technologies, questionable uses and poor management. To one degree or another, the push is on to take control of these vast waters meant to be public resources and, instead, give them to private hands bent on maximizing profit at the expense of all else.

"Be it industrial fish farms that leave a pall of pollution as they churn out their products, or technology that removes salt from the sea so the water can be shipped away without regard for the leftover toxic brine, or fisheries management schemes that drive family fishermen out of business and give all the fish to big corporations, our oceans face a tidal wave of threats.

"But there is still time to change course. And on this day, the first official World Oceans Day recognized by the United Nations, the international community can embark on a grand voyage of rescue and rejuvenation. The theme, Our Oceans, Our Responsibility, serves as a clarion call to shut down the forces that would seek to place these vast bodies of water under private control."


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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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