To the European Commission:
Ban bottom trawl fishing in marine protected areas as part of your upcoming ocean protection action plan, as part of a larger push to protect 30% of oceans by 2030.
Bottom trawl fishing is the devastating commercial practice of using giant weighted fish nets the size of jumbo jets. While their purpose is to catch specific fish on the seafloor for commercial purposes, these nets capture everything in their path, killing astronomical amounts of bycatch.
This practice is destroying sea and ocean floors, indiscriminately killing swaths of bycatch and wreaking havoc on biodiversity, while consuming large amounts of shipping fuel, destroying algae's carbon-sinking potential and wiping out any chance for resilience that would give ocean biodiversity and local fishing economies a chance to thrive.
A report even revealed that bottom trawling releases more carbon into the atmosphere than air travel. Existing regulations on bottom trawl fishing don't go nearly far enough.
There's currently a global push to designate 30% of the ocean as marine protected area by 2030, but what that could entail is still very much up for debate. The European Union has already begun working to ban bottom trawl fishing beyond 400 metres, but they must go farther.
We have a chance to influence the European Commission's ocean protection action plan, which is set to come out in the coming months.
With proper protections in place, we can protect not only vital ocean ecosystems and biodiversity, but replenish the ocean of fish stocks to the benefit of fishers and local economies.
As part of the upcoming action plan on ocean protection, we call on the Commission to commit to ban bottom trawl fishing in all marine protected areas.
Will you add your name to demand action to stop bottom trawl fishing?