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Trawling is one of the most widely used methods of extraction and obtaining of living resources. For example, trawling in the Mediterranean is one of the most common and is used to fish for hake, prawns, shrimp and Norway lobster, among others.

However, it is a type of fishing that destroys the seabed, as the nets of trawlers pull up all kinds of corals, algae and microorganisms in their path, becoming a great threat that damages the seabed of all areas. regions of the planet where this type of fishing is carried out.

In this AgroCorrn article we tell you what trawling is , and the environmental problems that it entails.

  1. What is trawling and how does it work
  2. Environmental problems of trawling
  3. Types of trawlers or trawlers
  4. Is trawling prohibited?

What is trawling and how does it work

The trawling or retropesca is an active fishing, ie not expect the movement of fish to catch and is based primarily on the use of a heavy network that sweeps the bottom of the sea . This type of fishing emerged during the second part of the 14th century and its use has grown exponentially until today. In addition, it is used increasingly deeper in the waters of seas and oceans in different corners of the planet.

Trawling is one of the least selective fisheries that exist, as it captures everything it encounters during the trawling process. It is a type of fishing that uses industrial methods, destroying the seabed during the process of catching fish.

Regarding its main tool, there are two types of trawl nets :

  • Bottom trawls: they exclusively capture different species of fish that inhabit the seabed, such as shrimp, Norway lobster, flatfish, cod, hake, etc.
  • Pelagic trawls: they are used to capture those species that instead live on the surface or between two waters. This is the case of sardines, horse mackerel, sea bass, among others.

Environmental problems of trawling

Trawling destroys the sedimentary ecosystems that make up the deep seabed, removing and lifting the different particles that make up the sediment and leaving numerous small organisms in suspension. They are the main inhabitants of marine sediments, which constitute the base of the trophic chain in these ecosystems at great depths.

In addition, it reduces the organic carbon content and reduces biodiversity , becoming one of the main causes of the degradation of the seabed. In this way, the seabed will remain as a poor and compacted surface sediment, making a new colonization of species in this ecosystem more difficult. In this other AgroCorrn article you can learn more about the Loss of biodiversity: causes and consequences .

This topic is also related to the environmental problem of the abuse of the resources that nature gives us and, therefore, we advise you to also read this other post on the Overexploitation of natural resources: causes and consequences .

Types of trawlers or trawlers

The trawl or trawl vessels using trawl and motors with adequate power at the speed of entrainment, using trawls and pelagic background.

Among the types of trawlers we can find:

  • Sideways trawler: trawls are located on the side of the boat. They also have two davits (on-board cranes that rotate out of the sides. The hull of the boat is reinforced at the height of the davits against the friction of the trawl doors.
  • Aft trawler: net towing cables running from deck to stern.
  • Freezer trawlers: they are deep-sea vessels. They have refrigeration facilities and freezing equipment, as well as refrigerated warehouses. Sometimes they even have mechanical equipment for gutting and filleting fish, as well as for making oils, flour and preserves.
  • Pole trawlers: they use one or two heavy nets extended from the sides, towing them using booms (an iron structure in the shape of a pole that is taken out of the boat by its side, for different uses). It is the typical trawler used for shrimp and flatfish fishing in the North Sea.

Is trawling prohibited?

As we have commented previously, trawling is very harmful to the seabed. For this reason its use is questioned and greater regulation is required .

In many countries trawling is regulated, although in very few it is even prohibited. Its prohibition would represent a great advance for the economy of the fishing sector, favoring the maintenance of marine biodiversity, as well as the balance and regeneration of marine resources.

There is still a long way to go until it is possible to have a type of trawling that includes sustainability and respect for the marine environment among its objectives , for which different international and national agreements will be necessary.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is trawling , we recommend that you enter our Other environment category .

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