Monday, December 06, 2010

Scraping the bottom of the barrel

Bottom trawling is a stupidly destructive form of fishing. Done by dragging huge nets weighted with heavy metallic plates across the ocean floor, such trawling leaves a trail of damage and destruction on the ocean floor in its path. It is akin to hunting for wild pigs by bulldozing the forest in which they dwell. And yet trawling is occurring at a rate 150 times faster than deforestation, damaging an area twice the size of the contiguous USA each year. Cold water and deep water corals are very slow growing, taking hundreds or thousands of years to recover from damage that can be done in a single pass of trawling nets.

The EU Council of Fisheries Ministers just passed up another opportunity to do something about this unnecessary and myopic practice.

It doesn't have to be this way.
The obvious picture to go with this post would have been something including a lot of water, but I picked this one instead. It is a hut on the island of Lindisfarne made out of half an old herring fishing boat. The herring trade used to employ thousands of people in the UK and over 30,000 boats were dedicated to the industry on the east coast alone. The industry today has been decimated, at least partly through damage caused by trawling.


Anthony Douglas said..., it didn't help that they had all these half-boats that kept sinking...

byron smith said...

I dunno, that one looks pretty watertight.

byron smith said...

Mongabay: World has run out of new fishing grounds.