Bottom Trawling

image showing bottom trawling

Example of a bottom trawl on the seabed (Freiwald et al 2004)

Bottom trawling and over fishing is responsible for the diminish in fish stocks over the years (Freiwald et al 2004), the actual effects were not obvious at first but now they have been recognised scientists have taken great interest into these effects and how they can hopefully be rectified (Turner et al. 1999).

The typical method of bottom trawling involves dragging a long beam along the seabead which hold a long cone shaped net open, the net is weighted on the underside to ensure it stays on the seabed at all times (Freiwald et al. 2004). The purpose of bottom trawling is to catch target organisms on or just off the seabed, however, when doing this the beam also gets dragged through precious coral reefs causing large amounts of damage. Trawling can also lead to the death of coral reefs as some species of corals are not resilient enough to fully recover. It is thought that bottom trawling has the largest impact on the seabed (Morgan & Chuenpagdee 2003) and is still to this day one of the biggest threats to cold-water corals.

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