Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bottom trawl ban sought by Bush

Bottom trawling has been widely criticized as a lousy way to catch fish, since it plows through fish habitat to catch fish.

Depending on which analogy you prefer, it's like using a bulldozer to catch birds in a forest or clear-cutting a forest to catch a squirrel.

Either way, there's no doubt that bottom trawling disturbs fish habitat, and that's bad if you want to fish again later. It's true that a few fish benefit from bottom trawling, if they can thrive on a plowed ocean bottom. But in general it's just not a good idea to churn, plow, flatten, and otherwise eliminate habitat complexities that make homes for fish and other animals. Click here for undersea video of a bottom trawl in action.

To address this problem, President Bush thinks we should ban bottom trawling in areas where it's poorly regulated. The White House statement is good. Specifically, the (State Department) is directed to ... establish rules based on sound science ... and to end destructive fishing practices, such as unregulated bottom trawling, explosives and chemicals that destroy the long-term productivity of ecosystems such as seamounts, corals, and sponge fields," the White House statement said.

OK, here's an area where I support our President. It's a good day for the ocean.

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