bottom trawling

Orange roughy – a ‘sustainable’ fish certification too far.

Posted by Willie — 21 June 2016 at 2:55pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Lizzie Barber / Greenpeace
orange roughy illustration

Orange roughy are easy to over fish. So, humans do. But that doesn't seem to be stopping moves to re-define them as 'sustainable' by the Marine Stewardship Council.

True, when we started fishing orange roughy we didn’t know that this slow-growing, long-lived, deep water fish was particularly susceptible. But now we definitely do. Orange roughy can live to a staggering 150 years old, and are at least 30 years old before they are mature enough to breed. To put that into context: there are probably orange roughy alive today that were born when Queen Victoria was on the throne, and they take about 10 times longer to mature than Atlantic cod.

5 Lesser-Known Threats to the Fragile Arctic Ocean

Posted by Emily Buchanan — 15 April 2016 at 5:44pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Eve Lloyd Knight
Eve Lloyd Knight

You probably know that climate change is melting Arctic ice with astonishing speed. While some hear a warning bell, others see a business opportunity and as the ice disappears, oil companies and fishing fleets are moving further north than ever before, keen to exploit the unexplored ocean opening up at the top of the world.

Destructive fishing

Last edited 30 September 2010 at 5:35pm -

Worldwide, the fishing industry is in decline because of years of over fishing. In 1988, for the first time in human history, global wild fish catches dropped and they have continued to fall ever since. In European waters, four out of every five known fish stocks are already beyond safe biological limits. As stocks decline, more extreme fishing methods have been employed to maximise catches of those that remain.

Bottom trawling


Beam trawling


Gill netting


Industrial fishing






What not to eat


Tomorrow will be too late...

Posted by jossc — 20 August 2009 at 10:32am - Comments

Every once in a while in my meanderings through the web, I come across something that really hits the spot - like this amazing animation from Phil Reynolds, for example. Phil's taken an idea from Charles Clover's book about overfishing, The End of the Line, and he uses it beautifully to illustrate the problem of 'bycatch' - the non-commercial species which are also killed during the process of bringing our favourite fish species to the table.

At last some action on bottom trawling

Posted by jossc — 9 May 2008 at 4:05pm - Comments

Very few orange roughy and a lot of bycatch, including several seastars, urchins, and numerous unwanted fish, in the net of the New Zealand deep sea trawler Recovery II in international waters in the Tasman Sea.

Bottom trawling, possibly the most destructive fishing method yet devised by man, is to be regulated across the whole North Atlantic ocean. The process, which involves dragging nets weight down by metal girders across the seabed, is notorious for its wastefulness. Besides legitimate target species such as cod, plaice and sole, vast quantities of corals, sponges and other deep sea creatures are destroyed as bycatch. The devastation caused is so great that Greenpeace has been calling for some time for a moritorium (suspension of activity) on bottom trawling. Now it looks as though some progress may be being made.

Sustainable seafood breakthough! Sainsbury's move to line-caught fresh cod and haddock

Posted by jossc — 13 April 2007 at 12:27pm - Comments

all sainsbury's fresh cod will be line-caught from May 2007

In a big boost to our 'sustainable seafood' campaign Sainsbury's, the largest fishmonger in the UK, has announced that from the end of April it will sell only line-caught fresh cod and haddock to its 16 million customers.

Bottom trawling

Last edited 24 January 2007 at 6:11pm

Bottom trawling - deep sea destroyers

Last edited 24 January 2007 at 6:10pm

Deep sea destroyers

Seamounts and the rich diversity of life they sustain are under threat from one of the world's most destructive fishing practices - bottom trawling.

The commercial fishing industry has developed its boats to extend its unsustainable fishing practices into previously unexploited deep waters.

Overfishing - emptying our seas

Last edited 11 November 2014 at 2:07pm

Many marine ecologists think that the biggest single threat to marine ecosystems today is overfishing. Our appetite for fish is exceeding the oceans' ecological limits with devastating impacts - and there is now estimated to be four times more global fishing capacity than there are fish left to catch.

Video: Stephen Appelby imagines the fate of the oceans without marine reserves

Iceland sinks UN moratorium on bottom trawling

Posted by jamie — 24 November 2006 at 7:04pm - Comments

The news that the UN moratorium on bottom trawling has sunk to the metaphorical, erm, bottom is grim enough but when you hear that it was all down to one country, it's just bloody depressing. And the culprit? Step forward Iceland, proud whaling nation and now ocean floor destroyer. Thanks guys.

But I can't put it better than Adele over on the Making Waves blog. There's real rage for you.