Bottom trawl, most destructive form of fishing must be abandoned

December 18, 2006 - 0:0
TEHRAN – Commercial fishing is banned on certain marine creatures in Iran’s southern waters during particular times of the year. The ban will not be permanent, however.

Shrimp fishing is prohibited in November through December, said an Iranian expert adding that the period is subject to changes whenever the situation arises, however, the Persian service of ISNA news agency said on Sunday. There are also limitations on the catching of green tiger shrimps and white shrimps in the Iranian side of Persian Gulf, he added.

Referring to bottom trawl fishing he said the method must be abandoned because it leads to the extinction of many species of maritime creatures.

Ninety-five percent of the material caught in deep sea bottom trawlers' steel nets that are dragged along the seabed, are thrown back overboard, dead, destroyed or dying. These trawls really do devastate the seabed, destroying everything in their paths, marine biologists maintain.

Deep sea bottom trawling has been compared to clear cutting ancient forests or using a bulldozer to catch rabbits. It is considered the most destructive form of fishing.

Only a handful of countries have deep sea bottom trawl fleets operating in international waters, the most prolific amongst these being Spain, other European countries and Russia. New Zealand is one of the only 11 countries that took approximately 95% of the reported high seas bottom trawl catch in 2001 and have been promoting and exporting this technology around the world.