Against a backdrop of increasingly frequent extreme weather events, accelerating extinction rates and rapidly rising ocean temperatures, it is becoming increasingly obvious that business-as-usual bottom trawling cannot continue. We must come together to mitigate the damage of climate stresses on our ocean floor, coral reefs and vulnerable ecosystems.
Bottom trawlers produce more waste than any other fishing practice by discarding a staggering volume and diversity of unwanted marine life. They reduce complex seabeds to rubble and pump out vast quantities of CO2 into our atmosphere. Low-impact fishing methods, on the other hand, balance environmental impacts with social and economic benefits for coastal communities.
People and communities have had enough and are mobilising to tackle bottom trawling across the globe. The Transfrom Bottom Trawling Coalition now represents over 70 organisations from 37 countries that have come together to tackle bottom trawling and urge a fair transition to more sustainable fishing practices.
In this issue, we spotlight members’ work protesting destructive fishing in Indonesia, upholding a bottom trawling ban in Brazil, sharing new research in Ghana and calling out illegal discarding in Scotland. We also celebrate the publication of a new report into the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) sustainability certification, which calls for it to stop certifying destructive bottom trawl fisheries and aim for a higher standard of sustainability. As usual, we have also compiled global bottom trawling news from the past couple of months to help you keep abreast of new developments.