Destruction of Marine Life and Habitat Coming June 15, 2008

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Posted by A Diver on June 12, 2008 at 21:25:50:

June 15 marks the date that drag netters are allowed to temporarily trawl the sea floor within one mile of the coast in pursuit of halibut off the coast of California. They scoop up not only halibut, but much by-catch like crabs and rockfish. Worse, they destroy the sea floor. I remembered that this wasteful practice was described in 1953 and I wonder why we as Californians and divers allow this wasteful and destructive practice to continue.

“We would film a commercial trawl net moving across the floor. No one had seen a net in action. Fishermen who spent their entire lives dragging the bottom knew the net only in theory. If one found the right spot it brought up fish; that was the existing body of information on trawl nets.”

“Perched above the grassy floor I saw the towline of the net arrive. It looped back to the rigid gate which scraped along the bottom, breaking down grasses and spreading destruction to the tiny creatures of the prairie. ...I was astonished to see how many fish escaped the monster, and how much it destroyed of future fish stocks and pasturage.”

Excerpt from “The Silent World” by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau with Frederic Dumas 1953

Write to the legislature to get a ban on this wasteful and destructive technique.

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