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Transform Bottom Trawling Coalition

Newsletter: May 2022

It has been a great month for the coalition. Our proposals for events at the UN Oceans Conference and the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) were accepted, thanks to the hard work of the steering group and other supporting partners.

Both events will give the coalition a platform to advocate for the adoption of coastal bottom trawling exclusive zones and the prohibition of bottom trawling in marine protected areas.

This month also saw the coalition’s Media Asset Bank grow, with new images and videos of bottom trawling on New Zealand seamounts contributed by Film the Trawlers.

We have a busy month ahead as we prepare for the UN Oceans Conference. Over the coming weeks, we will release a series of bottom trawling factsheets to highlight bottom trawling’s social, economic and environmental impacts alongside social media posts to amplify our conference plans.


UN Oceans Conference proposal accepted!

The UN Oceans Conference has accepted the coalition’s proposal for a side event exploring the role of bottom trawling exclusion zones in protecting coastal ecosystems and fisheries.

The Director of Fisheries from the Belize Fisheries Department and Madagascar’s Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy will be joined by small-scale fisher spokespeople and researchers from Duke University and WorldFish to exchange ideas for safeguarding small-scale fisheries and ecosystems using exclusion zones and other models for managing fishing access.

Official representatives will share the steps that Belize and Madagascar have taken to protect coastal fisheries, whilst small-scale fisher representatives will share perspectives from the front lines of our ocean emergency.

Speakers from Duke University and WorldFish, leaders of the Illuminating Hidden Harvests initiative in partnership with the FAO, will provide a global perspective of the extent of preferential access areas (PAAs) for small-scale fishers, delivering valuable insights on progress towards SDG indicator 14.b.1.

Dr Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, winner of the 2021 World Food Prize and Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at WorldFish, will moderate the event. Dr Essam Yassin Mohammed, Interim Director General at WorldFish, will give opening and closing remarks.

The event will take place from 08:00 - 10:00 am GMT+1 on Friday the 1st of July in the Oceanário de Lisboa. It will also be streamed online.

Please register your interest via this link.
Screenshot 2022-05-27 at 16.05.18

IMPAC5 proposal accepted!

The Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress, IMPAC5, has accepted the coalition’s proposal for a Knowledge Sharing Session to explore how bottom trawling undermines MPAs and socioeconomic outcomes at local, regional and global scales.

The session will bring together researchers from coalition members Project Seahorse and Fauna and Flora International, alongside small-scale fishers and the Pew Charitable Trust to share perspectives on the impacts of bottom trawling on marine ecosystems and pathways to prohibit the practice in MPAs.

We will share more information closer to the conference, which will take place in Vancouver, Canada, in February 2023.


New media assets

Coalition member Film The Trawlers has generously contributed a series of images and videos to the Media Asset Bank. The project aims to document bottom trawling activity at sea to increase public awareness of its impacts.

The team collected the new material in the Media Asset Bank during recent hair-raising surveillance missions to the Puysegur Bank.

You are free to use the materials according to the copyright guidelines associated with each image and video.

Please get in touch with [email protected] if you have bottom trawling photos, videos, illustrations, infographics or other visual material to contribute to the Media Asset Bank.



Millions of tonnes of dead animals: the growing scandal of fish waste
The Guardian

The future of fishing and fish — and the health of the ocean — hinges on economics and the idea of ‘infinity fish’
The Conversation

Op-ed: It’s time to stop subsidizing overfishing
Seafood Source

Asia and Asia-Pacific

Trawling ban divides traditional fishers, boat owners
The Hindu

How Indian trawlers & economic crisis create a perfect storm for Sri Lanka’s Tamil fishermen The Print

Easing of crackdown sees Vietnam boats encroach into Indonesian waters


A snapshot of the economic benefits from foreign bottom trawling in coastal West Africa: A mutually-beneficial trade in services, no winners or extractivism?
Fish and Fisheries

In Sierra Leone, local fishers and foreign trawlers battle for their catch


Irish Wildlife Trust Questions Why MEPs Did Not Support Ban on Bottom Trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Accidental discovery that scallops love ‘disco’ lights leads to new fishing technique
The Guardian

Proposed UK legislation will leave two thirds of critical Marine Protected Areas unprotected Oceanographic Magazine

Government call for evidence on banning bottom trawling in 13 marine protected areas

Channel fishermen protest to ban supertrawlers

trawler and pirogue in the ocean, madagascar


Are there bottom trawling news or events you would like us to amplify via this newsletter or our social media channels? Please contact Tom ([email protected]) and Marijn ([email protected]).

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