Billions in revenue lost globally for bottom trawling fisheries: new study

Date: May 16, 2018

Source: The Star Vancouver 
Author: Melanie Green

Vancouver—It’s impossible to evaluate the true costs and benefits of global fisheries without determining the amount of waste and knowing what’s coming to shore, researchers say.

That cost has not been fully considered until now: Industrial fisheries that rely on bottom trawling wasted 437 million tonnes of fish and missed out in $560 billion in revenue, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.

In comparison, small-scale fisheries were responsible for roughly 1.3 billion tonnes but their catch was worth a whole lot more — roughly $200 billion — because they catch fewer quantities of higher-value species such as crabs.

Instead of scraping the ocean floors, they tend to use small gillnets, traps, lines and hand tools. Bottom trawling is a practice where industrial fishing vessels drag large nets along the sea floor and has long been known as having detrimental environmental effects, such as destruction of non-target species, changes in the ecosystem and reduced biodiversity.

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