Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Postive News" on Bottom Trawling

TASMAN SEA: The NZ dep sea trawler West Bay does a fast turn after hauling its catch from international waters in the Tasman Sea. Greenpeace along with more than a thousand scientists are supporting the call for a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling, because of the vast amount of marine life that is destroyed by this fishing method.  © 2004-Greenpeace/Roger Grace
Mountain View, California.  As one of the most destructive forms of fishing, any proactive efforts to limit or eliminate bottom trawling are good news.  This fishing practice systematically scrapes along the seafloor with heavy gear, causing widespread ecological damage.  The long term impact on fishing itself is the reduction of fishery populations and loss of fisheries habitat.  This, however, pales in comparison to the damage it does to greater environment, including to millennia old cold water corals - the fiscal value of which are incalculable.

In this quarter’s Positive News,  a U.K.-based international newspaper with affiliates in New York, Hong Kong, Madrid and Argentina, the author of this blog was interviewed on the international effort to ban deep sea bottom trawling on the high seas.  This auxillary article compliments the month’s feature story, which covers an announcement from the nation of Belize to ban bottom trawling in their national waters. Joining the ranks of Venezuela and Palau, both countries of which have taken similar measures, Belize put this legislation into effect on December 31, 2010.

Arlo's contribution covers some of numerous achievements made through an international campaign to promote a U.N. moratorium on high seas bottom trawling that was spearheaded by the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.  He also touches on the momentum to build a network of marine protected areas on the high seas, which in concept would offer permanent protection to the seamounts and coldwater coral reefs currently threatened by trawling and other destructive fishing practices.

Read the full Positive News article: Towards and International Ban on Trawling by Sarah Wilkinson.

For more information on bottom trawling and high seas marine protected areas, check out the following sites: