Trawling, A Danger to Our Oceans

Turtle using a TED to get out of a trawling net

Turtle using a TED to get out of a trawling net

25% of U.S. fishing stocks are over fished. The main reason for over fishing in the U.S. is trawling. Trawling is a technique used to catch bottom dwelling sea life such as cod, flounder, and shrimp. Large nets are lowered to the bottom of the ocean and pulled along the sea floor. Trawling is a very effective way of fishing, but it is also a huge threat to our oceans ecosystems. The nets disturb the bottom of the ocean floor damaging hundred year old coral and other plant life. When the nets are pulled up, they are full of different sea animals.

Since trawling is an un-selective fishing technique, endangered species such as the green sea turtle are often caught in these nets. Catch that was not intended to be caught is know as bycatch and can be up to 90% of the catch total. Steps have been made in the United States to cut down on bycatch. Every trawling shrimp net in the U.S. must be fitted with a TED(turtle excluding device) and a BRD(bycatch reduction device). TEDs and BRDs make it easier for fish, turtle, and other animals to escape from the net unharmed. Even with help of these devices, there is still a bycatch and the sea floor is still being damaged. Trawling is also used in countries where there is no requirement to use TEDs or BRDs.

Bio-flock shrimp farming is a solution to reduce the destruction of our oceans. Dairyland Shrimp raises shrimp with no effect on our oceans’ ecosystem. We are leading the way to a whole new concept of how sea food is brought to the table. To learn more about the effects of trawling watch the video bellow our visit www.marine-conservation.org

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