Friday, November 21, 2014

Bottom Trawling and the Collapse of Wild Fisheries

Current methods of commercial fishing are decimating wild fish stocks and none are more destructive than bottom trawling. If the trend of unsustainable fishing continues we will see a complete collapse of wild fisheries by 2050. Bottom trawling not only jeopardizes commercial fisheries, it is also a threat to aquatic eco-systems.

Bottom trawling employs massive heavy nets that are dragged along the ocean floor. These nets scoop up everything in their path and leave a wasteland in their wake. Vast quantities of non-targeted species also known as by catch, are caught, killed and thrown back into the water. Up to 90 percent of drag net bottom trawling is composed of by catch. As fish populations decline in shallower waters these bottom trawlers are going into ever deeper waters.

This method of fishing kills a wide assortment of marine species and destroys the seabed and the habitats of may sea creatures that live there. It also stirs up sediment which makes the water unsuitable for many species. It also released pollutants and even contributes to climate change by releasing carbon from the ocean floor.

As fish populations decline these bottom trawlers are going into deeper waters. Bottom trawlers are ecosystem destroyers that adversely impact the oceans biodiversity and create underwater deserts.

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