Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

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tenchboy
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Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by tenchboy » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:08 pm

Alledgedly I mean I suppose it is actually possible that they did apply for a Waste Regs Disposal License beforehand.
Isn't it?

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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Fishnut » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:23 pm

How the f.ck are they "marine protected areas" if bottom trawling is allowed?!
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:40 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:23 pm
How the f.ck are they "marine protected areas" if bottom trawling is allowed?!
"Paper parks" aren't a phenomenon restricted to poor countries, unfortunately. The UK is just as guilty of pretending places are designated for conservation when they're actually not. See also the joke of a national park system.

I'd ban bottom trawling outright, if I were king of the sea.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Fishnut » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:15 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:40 pm
I'd ban bottom trawling outright, if I were king of the sea.
Me too, along with flags of convenience.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:20 pm

Yeah, that's a good one. If I don't make it as king I'm happy for you to take my place ;)

The general dumping of nets, rubbish and sewage by ships can go too. Oh and quotas are to be actually based on science, and enforced by sharks.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Fishnut » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:59 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:20 pm
Yeah, that's a good one. If I don't make it as king I'm happy for you to take my place ;)

The general dumping of nets, rubbish and sewage by ships can go too. Oh and quotas are to be actually based on science, and enforced by sharks.
I like your manifesto! And I'm happy to act as substitute should the need arise.

I'd add biodegradable nets for when they are dumped as dumping isn't always intentional. One boat I was on had to cut its net as it was very badly snagged and even after trying for several hours they couldn't get it free. Of course, that was with bottom trawling, which we've already banned, so it should be a moot point as pelagic nets rarely get caught on anything.

Oh, and no more discards.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Grumble » Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:05 pm

These boulders are going to cause more dumping of nets. Fishermen don’t dump them for fun, they’re expensive.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Fishnut » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:21 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:05 pm
These boulders are going to cause more dumping of nets. Fishermen don’t dump them for fun, they’re expensive.
I think the idea is to force them to avoid fishing in the area.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Grumble » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:23 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:21 pm
Grumble wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:05 pm
These boulders are going to cause more dumping of nets. Fishermen don’t dump them for fun, they’re expensive.
I think the idea is to force them to avoid fishing in the area.
Realistically how many fishing boats are going to know that when they next plan to fish the area? In the long term, sure, but short term there’s going to be snagged nets.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by lpm » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:32 pm

They publically disclose the location of each drop.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Grumble » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:35 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:32 pm
They publically disclose the location of each drop.
I hope that’s enough.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:47 pm

The location and purpose of Marine Protected Areas is quite well publicised as well.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by jdc » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:58 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:35 pm
lpm wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:32 pm
They publically disclose the location of each drop.
I hope that’s enough.
It's in the local paper and the BBC have reported it so that should help.

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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Grumble » Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:01 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:47 pm
The location and purpose of Marine Protected Areas is quite well publicised as well.
Apparently MPAs have never stopped any actual fishing before though. I’d love them to, and I support the aims of Greenpeace in this, I just hope this action doesn’t result in more abandoned nets in the sea.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Fishnut » Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:22 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:01 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:47 pm
The location and purpose of Marine Protected Areas is quite well publicised as well.
Apparently MPAs have never stopped any actual fishing before though. I’d love them to, and I support the aims of Greenpeace in this, I just hope this action doesn’t result in more abandoned nets in the sea.
I suspect the Greenpeace action is also designed to highlight this fact. When you call an area "protected" most people will assume that affords it some sort of protection.

I've done a bit of googling to try and find out what the UK means by a Marine Protected Area and while many organisations are very positive about our "network of MPAs' they are incredibly vague about what they actually are. It's almost as if no-one really wants to admit they're little more than a PR exercise.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:21 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:01 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:47 pm
The location and purpose of Marine Protected Areas is quite well publicised as well.
Apparently MPAs have never stopped any actual fishing before though. I’d love them to, and I support the aims of Greenpeace in this, I just hope this action doesn’t result in more abandoned nets in the sea.
Fair enough - me too. Hopefully the risk of getting tangled is enough to deter fishers from going there, and I'd have no sympathy for any that lose expensive equipment. Of course, when they do have to cut nets loose they should also bring them on board and back to sure for safe disposal rather than dumping them at sea, but I'd need someone more experienced to say whether that's actually possible.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Martin_B » Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:07 am

Nice to see they've learnt something from the Brent Spar debacle!
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Matatouille » Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:50 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:21 pm
Grumble wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:01 pm
Apparently MPAs have never stopped any actual fishing before though. I’d love them to, and I support the aims of Greenpeace in this, I just hope this action doesn’t result in more abandoned nets in the sea.
Fair enough - me too. Hopefully the risk of getting tangled is enough to deter fishers from going there, and I'd have no sympathy for any that lose expensive equipment. Of course, when they do have to cut nets loose they should also bring them on board and back to sure for safe disposal rather than dumping them at sea, but I'd need someone more experienced to say whether that's actually possible.
I think these boulders are likely to create the sorts of cut net scenarios that Fishnut described, where the fishers are simply unable to un-snag their net and bring it aboard. The question is whether overall this is less damage because the presence of the boulders dissuades fishers from deploying this type of equipment there. I don't know how frequently nets get damaged beyond economic repair and just dumped overboard though, rather than pay for some form of proper disposal ashore. That would obviously be indefensible and something to be stopped though. Hopefully initiatives/products like this create a residual value to badly damaged equipment and remove that perverse incentive.


With bottom trawling, is the intention of the bar scraping the bottom to stir up fish that were on the bottom to get them into the net, or just keep the net in proximity to the bottom to get the fish that occupy that lowest few meters of the water column and scraping the bottom is just an accepted consequence of the method? Could a technological solution that controls the net to glide at a small distance above the seabed mitigate much of the damage*.

*Obviously not the damage inherent in the colossal overfishing we're typically doing, but the physical damage that further hampers the ecosystem bouncing back.

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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by discovolante » Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:54 am

I think this action, like a lot of things of this nature (which often tend to be climate/ecosystem related these days) are basically a real life example of the trolley problem, except people are gonna spend ages arguing over how many people are tied down to which track.
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Re: More Unlicensed Fly Tipping

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:20 pm

I moved this topic to Weighty Matters as it contains an erudite discussion on marine environment policy[mod/].

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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:02 pm

Matatouille wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:50 am
With bottom trawling, is the intention of the bar scraping the bottom to stir up fish that were on the bottom to get them into the net, or just keep the net in proximity to the bottom to get the fish that occupy that lowest few meters of the water column and scraping the bottom is just an accepted consequence of the method? Could a technological solution that controls the net to glide at a small distance above the seabed mitigate much of the damage*.

*Obviously not the damage inherent in the colossal overfishing we're typically doing, but the physical damage that further hampers the ecosystem bouncing back.
The idea with bottom trawling is deliberately disturbing the seabed, so the noise and turbidity disturbs and confuses fish. The main targets are bottom-dwelling flatfish like sole, flounder, halibut, plus things like rays. They also smash up coral, catch turtles and generally f.ck things up long-term.

There was a decent article in Geophysical Research Letters last year whose intro goes into the long-term impacts. Their findings suggest that the seabed takes ages to recover, which isn't new info, but I think the finding about impeding carbon sequestration specifically is.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by plodder » Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:26 pm

Heavy trawls just scrape up everything including habitats etc. They leave a blank stripe. The closest analogy to farming is when they grow turf and peel off the top layer of soil when they harvest it.

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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:38 pm

plodder wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:26 pm
Heavy trawls just scrape up everything including habitats etc. They leave a blank stripe. The closest analogy to farming is when they grow turf and peel off the top layer of soil when they harvest it.
For sure. A closer analogy I guess would be bulldozing an area of scrub or heathland or whatever to catch some pheasants.

It's totally f.cked that it's allowed inside protected areas.
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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by plodder » Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:40 pm

Have you read "an unnatural history of the sea"?

Lots of things about fishing are f.cked up

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Re: Bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Post by Matatouille » Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:08 pm

Goody, so a tech solution to address the physical damage would be fixing a problem that the fishers don't want solved. I guess I'll just continue to not eat flatfish then.

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