Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bottom Trawling is the Pits

Bottom trawling is a destructive fishing practice where heavy nets and iron gear are dragged along the ocean floor over underwater hill and dale crushing and smashing habitat and sea life along the way. The comparison is hunting for deer by demolishing the entire forest.

Bottom trawling also stirs up sediment, which is bad because it blocks light needed for sea life deeper down and it kicks up toxins that were buried in the sediment.

Here's the scientific explanation: "The resulting undersea plumes of “suspended solids” can drift with the current for tens of miles from the source of the trawling, introducing turbidity throughout the water that inhibits the transfer of light down to the depths where it is needed for photosynthesis in plankton, sea kelp and other undersea plants that serve as the basis for the marine food chain.

"Also, ocean sediments serve as natural safe resting places for many persistent organic pollutants (such as DDT and PCBs). Dredging these sediments up effectively reintroduces such toxins into the water where they are unwittingly absorbed and consumed by the fish we eat and other marine life already trying to cope with otherwise compromised undersea habitats. The sediment plumes also reintroduce nutrient solids from agricultural and other practices, increasing demand for oxygen in the water (causing algae blooms) and contributing to the outbreak of ocean “dead zones” devoid of marine life," according to Health News Digest

The good news is that the US outlawed bottom trawling in its waters but the bad news is it still goes on elsewhere in Europe and in many other places of the world.

Must be the dredges of humanity who still think bottom trawling is acceptable. 

Read the full story here.

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