Bottom Trawling

Orange roughy – a ‘sustainable’ fish certification too far.

Posted by Willie — 21 June 2016 at 2:55pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Lizzie Barber / Greenpeace
orange roughy illustration

Orange roughy are easy to over fish. So, humans do. But that doesn't seem to be stopping moves to re-define them as 'sustainable' by the Marine Stewardship Council.

True, when we started fishing orange roughy we didn’t know that this slow-growing, long-lived, deep water fish was particularly susceptible. But now we definitely do. Orange roughy can live to a staggering 150 years old, and are at least 30 years old before they are mature enough to breed. To put that into context: there are probably orange roughy alive today that were born when Queen Victoria was on the throne, and they take about 10 times longer to mature than Atlantic cod.

5 Lesser-Known Threats to the Fragile Arctic Ocean

Posted by Emily Buchanan — 15 April 2016 at 5:44pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Eve Lloyd Knight
Eve Lloyd Knight

You probably know that climate change is melting Arctic ice with astonishing speed. While some hear a warning bell, others see a business opportunity and as the ice disappears, oil companies and fishing fleets are moving further north than ever before, keen to exploit the unexplored ocean opening up at the top of the world.

Tomorrow will be too late...

Posted by jossc — 20 August 2009 at 10:32am - Comments

Every once in a while in my meanderings through the web, I come across something that really hits the spot - like this amazing animation from Phil Reynolds, for example. Phil's taken an idea from Charles Clover's book about overfishing, The End of the Line, and he uses it beautifully to illustrate the problem of 'bycatch' - the non-commercial species which are also killed during the process of bringing our favourite fish species to the table.

At last some action on bottom trawling

Posted by jossc — 9 May 2008 at 4:05pm - Comments

Very few orange roughy and a lot of bycatch, including several seastars, urchins, and numerous unwanted fish, in the net of the New Zealand deep sea trawler Recovery II in international waters in the Tasman Sea.

Bottom trawling, possibly the most destructive fishing method yet devised by man, is to be regulated across the whole North Atlantic ocean. The process, which involves dragging nets weight down by metal girders across the seabed, is notorious for its wastefulness. Besides legitimate target species such as cod, plaice and sole, vast quantities of corals, sponges and other deep sea creatures are destroyed as bycatch. The devastation caused is so great that Greenpeace has been calling for some time for a moritorium (suspension of activity) on bottom trawling. Now it looks as though some progress may be being made.

Sustainable seafood breakthough! Sainsbury's move to line-caught fresh cod and haddock

Posted by jossc — 13 April 2007 at 12:27pm - Comments

all sainsbury's fresh cod will be line-caught from May 2007

In a big boost to our 'sustainable seafood' campaign Sainsbury's, the largest fishmonger in the UK, has announced that from the end of April it will sell only line-caught fresh cod and haddock to its 16 million customers.

Iceland sinks UN moratorium on bottom trawling

Posted by jamie — 24 November 2006 at 7:04pm - Comments

The news that the UN moratorium on bottom trawling has sunk to the metaphorical, erm, bottom is grim enough but when you hear that it was all down to one country, it's just bloody depressing. And the culprit? Step forward Iceland, proud whaling nation and now ocean floor destroyer. Thanks guys.

But I can't put it better than Adele over on the Making Waves blog. There's real rage for you.

Blame Canada (and Espana) - bottom trawling gets the South Park treatment

Posted by bex — 17 November 2006 at 7:06pm - Comments

Bottom trawling - it's not big and it's not clever. An upcoming UN vote could see a moratorium on this fishing method which is destroying life on the ocean bed, but Canada and Spain are opposing it. If the video below doesn't inspire you to take action, you've misplaced your funny bone.

Bottom trawling - strip-mining the seas

Posted by darren — 7 June 2006 at 11:57am - Comments

Wanton destruction: bycatch trawled on the Dogger Bank, North Sea, August 2004

Greenpeace calls for global marine reserves on World Oceans Day

As the kick-off to the football world cup approaches, how's this for a key pre-match statistic? Every four seconds, marine life in an area of ocean floor the size of ten football fields is wiped out by high seas bottom trawlers.

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