Bycatch: 1 for the price of 10

argylesock says… Bottom trawling still goes on in European seas. Dave Keating at European Voice tells us that an attempt to ban it has just been rejected in favour of a more liberal ruling. In the British waters of Europe, we’re to get fewer Marine Conservation Zones than some conservationists wanted. 27 instead of 127. But scroll down Mr Keating’s article and you’ll see that the Fat Lady isn’t singing yet. There’s to be another vote in December or January.

A Perspective Study

Bycatch is a real and growing problem. We are catching more fish unintentionally than ever before thanks the to large-scale implementation of bottom trawling, a fishing technique in which ships as big as supertankers drag nets the size of a Boeing 747 along the seafloor swallowing everything in their path.

Any fish that manage to stay out of trawler nets are also deeply affected when the weighted crossbars of the nets snag and destroy vast swaths of coral reefs (the total mass of coral reefs make up an area the size of France, yet provide the habitat for 25% of all marine animals).

Because we are globally trawling an area twice the size of contiguous United States every year, innumerable fish species around the globe are declining rapidly and taking with them the balance of the oceanic ecosystem.

This is a dire problem that most don’t know exists. In the…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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