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Posted Tue Aug 3 2010: from University of Cambridge, via PhysOrg:
Trawl fishing surviving through sale of previously discarded fish
Although good for the fishermen, scientists warn that the prolonged trawl fishing along certain areas will lead to an 'ecological catastrophe' and the 'permanent loss of livelihoods for fishers' as well as other individuals who work in the industry.... A paper published in the current issue of the journal Conservation Letters by researchers from the University of Cambridge shows that the drivers for the use of this once discarded resource are twofold: declining shrimp stocks and profits, and the development of alternative markets, which include the rapidly growing poultry-feed industry. Trawl fishing is a technique employed the world over in which a fishing vessel drags a gaping net along the ocean floor. Unfortunately, though trawlers target a limited number of species such as shrimp and some fish, trawl nets capture anything in their path and seriously damage the seafloor as well. It's been estimated that trawlers in the tropics capture an average of 10 kilos of bycatch for every kilo of shrimp.... Looking to the policy implications of the study, Lobo says: "If appropriate measures are not taken immediately to limit overfishing then the outcomes could be catastrophic for the ecosystem and result in the permanent loss of livelihoods for the fishers in the region."
[Read more stories about: overfishing, feedback loop]

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