The Last of the Unknown Could be Lost Forever:
Delicate and intricate ocean habitats are being eradicated by deep sea trawlers. Deep sea bottom trawling is a form of fishing in which huge, heavy nets are dragged along the sea floor. The metal plates and rubber wheels attached to the nets pulverize everything in their path. Species in areas that are affected by bottom trawling recover very slowly; some could take hundreds of years. Many of the areas in which deep sea bottom trawling occurs have not yet been explored. These areas are home to unique organisms that have never been seen by human eyes. When the huge nets used in bottom trawling destroy the habitats of these creatures, they may not recover and become extinct before we ever see them.
Deep sea bottom trawling is a major issue which needs to be dealt with immediately. It is ruining beautiful and fragile beds of rare coral. Some of these creatures and their habitats may not recover from this trauma. Also, beautiful submarine landscapes of mountains, valleys, and canyons are being ruined. If bottom trawling continues, it would be the cause of the last of the unknown being lost forever. The vast areas that have yet to be explored are being completely destroyed so our opportunities are decreasing. Greenpeace even suggests that it would be like blowing up Mars before we get to it.
The Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Defense fund have proposed a solution to bottom trawling. To do so, they would establish marine reserves to stop trawling in specified areas. Banning trawlers would result in job (livelihood) losses, hardship for those who have invested in the ships and the loss of food to people who need it. Therefore they created a trawler buyback program so that the companies that use trawlers would not lose any more money than they would from finding new ways to fish. It may also be reverting to older more sustainable ways to fish. This partnership between these two environmental groups is helping to preserve what is a major source of sustenance of many people on this earth.
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Sources: “Trawl Management and Individual Fishing Quotas”. Fishery Management. Accessed 25 January 2008.
"Bottom Trawling - Greenpeace International." Greenpeace International. 24 Aug 2007. Greenpeace. Accessed 25 January 2008. <http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/bottom-trawling>.
“A fishing boat at Dungeness”. Freedigitalphotos.net. Accessed 25 January 2008. <http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/details.php?gid=190&sgid=&pid=2342>