From: Associated Press
Published March 29, 2006 12:00 AM

EU Calls for Global Ban on Bottom Trawling to Prevent Harm to Ocean Life

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union called for a global ban Tuesday on bottom trawling calling the random fishing practice harmful to the biodiversity of oceans.

Speaking at a United Nations conference on biological diversity in Curitiba, Brazil, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said, "We should put in place an interim prohibition of destructive fishing practices in international waters, including bottom trawling."

Such a ban should remain "until appropriate conservation and management measures" have been established under international law, he added.

His comments were distributed by his office in Brussels.

Bottom trawling indiscriminately clear-cuts large underwater areas for it does not target specific fish species. Fisherman usually haul up large amounts of unwanted "bycatch."

"The threat of loss of biodiversity is bigger than climate change if we consider that once a species is lost, no mitigation measure can help bring it back," Dimas said.

Source: Associated Press

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