The Darker Side Of Denia-Bottom Trawlers and the Quest For Profit



Trawler II - Copy

This post is not really about the finer points of photography- more about how photography can help us all to be more aware and more concerned about the world we live in- photography has an important part to play in our understanding of the world we live in today-for me, it´s a way to document the excesses of humanity in all it´s forms, whether it be political,social or religious, photo-journalism  has documented the brutality of man but also shown the kindness and love of humanity that only pictures can convey-far more dramatic than the written word- and many a photographer has paid the ultimate price for it.

On perhaps a lesser level, for me, the very precious and beautiful world in which we live, is at a crossroad-do we dig up all the tomatoes in our garden just to pick the best one for tonite´s Tomato salad-or just pick the best Tomato and leave the rest to mature for tommorrow´s salad?

Back to photography- these fishing boats look to me to be the most dangerous work environments i´ve ever seen- they have signs all over the boats “don´t throw rubbish in the sea” well excuse me but i think bottom trawlers are doing more than throwing rubbish in the sea-they´re turning the sea into rubbish!

Here is some info i trawled (´scuse the pun) from the internet:

“The Spanish government conducts many fisheries research projects and many of course are good. Spanish fisheries scientists are among the best in the world, often spending months at sea measuring, weighing and studying fish populations and evaluating the impacts of fisheries on the ocean environment. Not one of these studies says that the ocean environment is not being impacted. Scientists have only been able to study only .001% of the seabed- where trawling nets are dragged- and they have certainly not given reckless bottom trawling their endorsement. In fact, most studies include a paragraph saying that more studies are needed if we want exact conclusions. What we need- and what Greenpeace is demanding- is a precautionary approach- which would mean an end to bottom trawling fisheries, until scientists can understand and evaluate their impacts.

Deep sea bottom trawling of course has many other impacts- discards of bycatch, its role in the destruction of fish populations and other elements of the ocean environment. One has to stop and think- what’s the point of all of this senseless destruction, we have to use precaution and reduce overfishing until we can understand what it is doing to our oceans and how we can reverse the disastrous impacts it is causing.”

Celia Ojeda Martínez is an oceans campaigner based in the Madrid office of Greenpeace Spain.

“Certain types of fishing methods destroy or damage the very seafloor habitats where fishes and many other seafloor animals reside. Certain fishing methods are notorious for catching large amounts of bycatch – fish , sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals – that are unintentionally caught and often incidentally killed in fishing operations.Among all the fishing methods, bottom trawling, a fishing method that drags a large net across the sea floor, is the most destructive to our oceans.

What is bottom trawling?

Bottom trawling is an industrial fishing method where a large net with heavy weights is dragged across the seafloor, scooping up everything in its path – from the targeted fish to the incidentally caught centuries-old corals. Bottom trawls are used in catching marine life that live on the seafloor, like shrimp, cod, sole and flounder. In the US, bottom trawling occurs on the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts, capturing more than 800,000,000 pounds of marine life in 2007. Bottom trawls are also commonly used by other fishing nations and on the high seas.

Why is it a problem?

Bottom trawling is unselective and severely damaging to benthic ecosystems. The net indiscriminately catches every life and object it encounters. Thus, many creatures end up mistakenly caught and thrown overboard dead or dying, including endangered fish and even vulnerable deep-sea corals which can live for several hundred years. This collateral damage, called bycatch, can amount to 90% of a trawl’s total catch. In addition, the weight and width of a bottom trawl can destroy large areas of seafloor habitats that give marine species food and shelter. Such habitat destructions can leave the marine ecosystem permanently damaged.”

We all need to think about these things- i just think, everyone has a camera in some shape or form, these days, whether smartphone, DSLR or whatever, we all need take one day out in our lives to document something that has changed in our lifetimes to pass on to our Kids, Nieces or  Nephews, just so that they can understand the impotance of being  the  guardians of our world. My generation has not done a very  good job, i want my daughter´s generation to do more!

5 thoughts on “The Darker Side Of Denia-Bottom Trawlers and the Quest For Profit

  1. In Canada, there’s a great program called Oceanwise that helps fish consumers buy their fish responsibly. They rate all sorts of fish available to Canadians based on how environmentally responsible the fishing method was.

    • Some people just don´t care, Adrian-the sadness of it all is they are the ones that are going to be directly affected by it.I read in the Times the other day that generally normal people feel quite passionate about these sort of issues-but feel powerless. 😦

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