Why this fishing technique is a climate disaster

Date: April 13, 2021

Source: National Observer
Author: Marc Fawcett-Atkinson

Bottom trawling, a common fishing practice where large nets are dragged along the sea floor, is exacerbating the climate crisis, a new study has found.

Centuries of dead plankton, fish and marine mammals lie on the sea floor, their decomposed bodies locking vast amounts of carbon in the sediments beneath the waves. When those sediments are moved by giant trawl nets, the carbon they contain is released back into the ocean and atmosphere, say the team behind the research.

“There’s quite a bit more carbon in the sediments than we (first) thought,” said Boris Worm, professor of marine conservation biology at Dalhousie University and co-author on the study. “It’s, in fact, more than (is stored) on land — we did not know that.”

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