Marine Scientists: Ban Deep-Sea Fishing

Stocks are being dangerously depleted, they warn
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2011 4:31 PM CDT
Marine Scientists: Ban Deep-Sea Fishing
A haddock caught in the North Atlantic.   (Getty Images)

A group of marine scientists has issued a damning report about deep-sea fishing and called for the practice to be banned, reports the Washington Post. The paper in the journal Marine Policy says it's not so much fishing as "mining" and the sea is more like a "watery desert" as a result. Fishermen have moved further out to sea in search of fish stocks such as Chilean sea bass and orange roughy, and they're depleting them faster than the species can be replenished, the scientists warn.

“We’re now fishing in the worst places to fish,” the president of the Marine Conservation Institute tells the Post. “These things don’t come back.” What's more, the practice is damaging coral reefs that are hundreds if not thousands of years old. But not everyone thinks a total ban is necessary. “From a conservation perspective, maybe we shouldn’t fish at all, and the ocean should be left pristine," says a University of Washington fisheries professor. "Where is the food going to come from?” (More fishing industry stories.)

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