Trawlers ‘devastating’ rare fish

Date: 1/12/2005

The deep ocean is one of the world’s last great wildernesses. But not for long. Two kilometres below the surface, scores of rare and exotic species are being wiped out at a dramatic rate. Britain’s marine scientists have warned that many unique species face extinction because of the global growth in deep-sea trawlers fishing for edible species. With the use of vast nets that can reach down two kilometres, they are pulling up thousands of tonnes of fish each year, and most are thrown back dead. Steel rollers weighing up to 200kg each hold down these nets. The result is, the nets are scraping the seabed clean and devastating the ancient coral beds and sea-mounts that are home to the deep sea’s marine life. More than 50 of Britain’s leading scientists and ecologists are urging their Government to call for a global ban on the industry at the UN. Their unprecedented demand follows worrying evidence that the deep sea is being ‘irreparably destroyed’ by the industry.

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