Bottom Trawling As Seen From Space

Photo: SkyTruth

Bottom trawling for fish is so destructive to marine environment that its plume can be seen from space!

"Bottom trawling is the most destructive of any actions that humans conduct in the ocean," said zoologist Les Watling of the University of Hawaii. "Ten years ago, Elliott Norse (of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute) and I calculated that, each year, worldwide, bottom trawlers drag an area equivalent to twice the lower 48 states. Most of that trawling happens in deep waters, out of sight. But now we can more clearly envision what trawling impacts down there by looking at the sediment plumes that are shallow enough for us to see from satellites."

Link - via Treehugger

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This is a downright travesty. It should be outlawed outright.

Of course, on the flipside I love ocean fish. I love tuna and salmon. If it is either my diet or the welfare of the world I think I could abstain.
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The picture shows a scale more like what you'd see from an airplane. It measures an area of 10 km (6 mi) and claims "picture, from space!" Guess what- you can also see the problem of someone throwing out their McDonald's on the highway from space.
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A couple of points: bottom trawling is no worse than forest clear cutting or burning down rainforests. North America was covered with forests as little as 300 years ago and most of it is now gone. In South America, Africa and Asia the tropical rainforests are slowly disappearing. Humans have burned about 50% of the fossil fuels in the earth. The end result will be a cataclysmic end to the human race when we can no longer sustain the food and energy requirements to feed 6+ billion people. When the humans die off, the non-human plant and animal species will return. It may take a million years or more for the full diversity to manifest itself, but it will happen. The rise of the human race is but a blip in the life cycle of the earth, and though we've scorched it pretty well, once we're gone, nature will continue on quite nicely without us, thank-you.
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