High Seas Bottom Trawl Fisheries and their Impacts on the Biodiversity of Vulnerable Deep-Sea Ecosystems: Options for International Action

Date: November 1, 2004

The deep ocean is increasingly recognized as a major global reservoir of the Earth’s biodiversity, comparable to the biodiversity associated with tropical rainforests and shallow-water coral reefs. Though only a small fraction of the oceans’ ecosystems found at depths below 200 meters have been studied, research has revealed remarkably high levels of biodiversity and endemism. Estimates of the numbers of species inhabiting the deep ocean range between 500,000 and 100 million.

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