Deep-sea fishing; the underestimated impacts

by RosalieCB on April 20, 2018 - 10:51am

In an article called “Race to the Bottom:Impact of Deep-sea Fishing Severely Underestimated written by Alastair Bland, on April 2018, we study the impacts that deep-sea fishery has on the environment.

Bottom trawling is when a big net is dragged on the sea floor to catch fishes, massively. In 1950, scientists did a study and found that deep-sea fishing killed nearly 80 percent most fishes than previous researches found. Over 25 million tons of marine life have died because of this type of fishery, while scientists of the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had estimated only 14 million tons.

Deng Palomares, from the University of British Columbia, found that one of the cause explaining this phenomenon is that almost 50 % of fisheries was not reported. Another cause is that part of the catches are rejected and putted back to the seas, usually dead. A study published Wednesday written by Lissette Victorero, a PhD student in the United Kingdoms, and her coauthors found that 10,5 million metric tons of catches were not reported, in which 5 million tons are thrown away.

The problem with fishing massively deep sea species is that they do not reproduce fast and live a very long time. Victorero said that deep-sea fishing also damage a lot the sea floor and fish habitat. Corals and seamounts are the main are the most damaged part  of the sea floor by deep-sea trawling.

Killing deep-sea fishings can also impact a lot climate change. These species can absorb carbon dioxide in the water, slowing down climate change and ocean acidification. The cofounder of the Deep Sea Coalition in the Netherland, Matthew Gianni claimed that he was not surprised by the founding of the article and hopes that Victorero’s article will make a change in deep-sea trawling. He hopes that in 10 to 15 years, deep-sea trawling will be abolished of in little quantity. He also says that there is not a lot of laws restricting this kind of fishery and that in some places of the world, countries not only allow it, but also encourage it.

Victorero claims that deep-sea fishes cannot take any more exploitation and finishes by saying that deep-sea trawling is the most devastating type of fishery.

I was not aware what was deep-sea trawling and what were the impacts on the marine life. I was surprised to see how devastating it can be to fishes, but also for their habitat. I was shocked to hear that gouvernments do not regulate it. We should protect the fishes, and fishing them massively as well as endommanging their habitat is not the right thing to do, for us and for them. It is scary to see how humans impact negatively the environment, but also how our impact, as hard to predict and to measure can be, are underestimated.


Bland, A. (2018, April 16). Race to the Bottom: Impact of Deep-Sea Fishing Severely Underestimated. News Deeply.  (Accessed on April 19, 2018). Retrieved from:


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