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

Disgusting. What we do to this world is unimaginable.

Hopefully soon the world just purge's us all. It's for the better. We'd sooner see the planet lifeless and cold with our wallets full of greenbacks rather than excersise caution and balance our needs with the planets / other inhabitants.

Every generation seems to get worse. Technology. Heh.
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I agree that as of right now, the human species does not deserve long term survival (long term on a planetary timeline.) But I dispute that every generation gets worse and the implication that technology isn't helping.

On a per capita basis, since the dawn of the industrial revolution, we have made decent strides in improving our environmental impact. But we still must do much more to improve and much faster. Technology is what allowed us to visualize the damage of this horrid practice. Hopefully it will help spur change just like the picture of Earth on the way to the moon from Apollo helped jumpstart the environmental movement.
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What I find more fascinating is those posting about the horrors of technology from a computer that was made at the expense of a large amount of fossil fuels and water and is comprised of hazardous materials e.g., lead and cadmium. A true conservationist would make their own paper by hand from an environmentally friendly plant like hemp and then construct as many fliers as possible with ink made from berries and walnuts with the intent to decry the evils of allowing oneself to slowly lose the oneness we share with the world in a war of attrition against the iniquitous entity that is technology.
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"On a per capita basis, since the dawn of the industrial revolution, we have made decent strides in improving our environmental impact."
I'm not so sure. As wealth spreads and more people consume goods beyond subsistence, I would bet that we are impacting our environment more on a per capita basis.

"A true conservationist would make their own paper by hand from an environmentally friendly plant like hemp and then . . ."
I don't think sustainability requires a planet full of Ted Kazinskis. It probably does require fewer than 6.5 billion humans though.

We are the most numerous mammal on earth. More than any species of rat or bat. I'm happy to be here, and thrilled to be living in the 99% percentile, but it won't last.
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Emesis: It doesn't. But it is interesting if you already know what bottom trawling is: scraping clean an entire ecosystem just to get to one product---er, fish. It would be the equivalent of burning down a village to get the floor tile of its residents. It is the kind of thing that is done because it has always been done and is only now being questioned now that the majority of the large fish in the ocean are critically overfished. National Geographic's website is a good unbiased source for more information. The way we are treating the oceans is so shocking it only continues because we can't see it happening. So any visual indicator is good.
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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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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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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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