Large Scale Fishing
Belize Banned Bottom Trawling in Exclusive Economic Zone
University Of Belize, Punta Gorda Town, Toledo Campus
Professor Mrs. Gillian Miller
ENGL 1035/ ENGL 299
April 11th, 2011
Fishing industry in Belize has been the most significant contributor in the economy of Belize. However fishing, like all forms of human activity, is not without its environmental impact. There is a lack of adequate regulatory framework to guide the technical, administrative and financial operations of existing fishing cooperatives. Fishing has been practice in Belize for several ...view middle of the document...
December 31, 2010, was a historic decision by Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration and the Oceana organization, which had made these environmentally friendly decisions on the heel of the threat from UNESCO that it would strip the Belize Barrier Reef System of its World Heritage Site status. According to Danson, a well-known American actor “This is not really about saving fish; it is about saving fishermen; it’s about creating jobs, because if you destroy your reef, you would end up losing your tourism; you would end up losing your ability for fishermen to have their children fish and their children’s children fish,”.Referring to a study that sampled the trawler by-catch in Belize, Matura-Shepherd said that several edible fish species were found, including snapper, grunt and thread herring: “They never grew up so that they can reach your plate,”.
Bottom trawling, which involves boats indiscriminately dragging nets across the sea floor, has been used in Belize for decades to catch shrimp; however, the practice is very destructive to a wide array of marine life that tend to also get trapped in the process, sometimes at very young stages in their life cycle. Trawling, where it is done, is said to be one of the culprits of fisheries decline. There are many more besides trawling they are traps, dredge, long lines, harpoons, gillnet, and purse seine nets. Bottom trawls are enormous fishing nets that are dragged across the sea floor, clear –cut everything living in their path. A large trawler can drag over a ½ - acre swath of seabed with one pass. Each year, the world’s fleet of bottom trawlers disturbs a seabed area twice the size of the contiguous United States. Deep- sea trawling destroys seabed habitat at a faster rate than the aggregate loss of the world’s tropical rain forests.
High – seas bottom trawlers can destroy 580 million square miles of seabed each day. Scientists have calculated that bottom- dragging trawlers in the North Sea destroy 16 pounds of marine animals for every pound of marketable sole that is caught. Beam trawling in shallow waters have been used by fisherman for centuries, they had stayed away from rocky, complex habitats where structures such as corals, boulders, or pinnacles might snag the trawl net.
Fishing technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years, as declining fish populations have forced the industry to look farther and deeper in order to catch fish. Trawl nets catch shrimp, cod, hodlock, and other fish. Bottom trawls drag weighted net across the seafloor, crashing coral or any other marine life. Bottom trawl also discard more in wanted fish than almost any other form of fishing and are extremely destructive. Midwater trawls drag large nets through the water to catch Pollock and other schooling fish, and when their nets are full, they may “Trawling can be compared to deforestation,” Oceana writes. “It’s a destructive fishing practice where weighted nets are drug across the seafloor,...