March 1, 2010

Deep-sea trawling is devastating marine ecosystems

In his research for the ten-year European Census of Marine Life, Dr. Jason Hall-Spencer of Plymouth University in the United Kingdom has found that deep-sea bottom trawlers are destroying corals and marine habitats that had been preserved for eons, since the last Ice Age.

Once used only in shallow waters, the giant heavy nets with rubber rollers that are dragged along the seafloor are now being taken to deeper seas due to dwindling numbers of fish.

Along with the countless lives they take, the net’s rollers are known to collapse delicate coral habitats. Dr. Hall-Spencer stated in fact that while less than 1% of some 50,000 underwater sea mountains have been studied, their biodiverse ecosystems may be decimated before ever being explored.

He said, “It doesn't matter what ocean you go to, these habitats are being trashed by international fishing fleets. …What is urgently needed is a network of protected areas where any type of fishing gear that involves dragging equipment across the seabed is banned.”

Many thanks, Dr. Hall-Spencer for your call to halt the destructive practice of bottom trawling. Indeed, let us allow all fish to live so that our world may continue to be graced with wondrous marine life.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently spoken of the need to protect our living oceans, as in an interview published in the September 2009 edition of the British Parliament's The House Magazine.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: If we do end the killing of fish in the spirit of showing respect for all created life, the fish will rebound very quickly. But the continuation of fishing activities could damage the balance of marine life beyond its ability to recover.

Analysis by British researchers of hundreds of years of fishing records has revealed to us the devastating effects of trawling to both the marine environment and sea life. One scientist compared this method to harvesting apples by lowering a giant net and dragging it through the orchard, thus destroying the trees, destroying the very life that supports the fruit.

Please, request the media’s help in spreading info about the detriments of trawling and the dire state of fish populations today. Another extremely effective practice would be to stop eating fish and advocate the same for all citizens.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/18/deep-sea-trawling-coral-reefs

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