envisci1.jpgL.H. and J.C.

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Bottom trawls are nets of a great size which can collected groundfish, comercially desired fish, and crustacean species. It is also one of the most destructive fishing gear types. They threaten species biodiversity and catch a variety of non-target, undesirable or unmarketable species. The non-target species, also known as bycatch, is thrown away overboard; either dead or dying. In many fisheries the bycatch can be large. In southern California, seventeen pounds of bycatch are caught and discarded back into the water for every one pound of target species that are sent to market to be sold. Bottom trawls cause severe habitat damage. An example of habitat destruction by bottom trawls is destroying deep sea corals and sponges. Everytime a bottom trawl passes, it can crush coral (coral reefs) some dating back several hundred years.
We are mining for fish and not sustaining resources. external image albatross-320.jpg Longline fishing and drift nets have caused the death of many non-target species. Ocean habitats and their populations are difficult to forecast and manage. Unknown variables include the role large predators play in controlling the abundance of other species. Longline fishing uses baited hooks on lines up to 80 miles long. Each longline consists more than several thousand hooks at a time and then sent out into desired area . Longline fishing can catch swordfish, tuna, sharks, birds, and turtles. Internationally about 180,000 birds die on longline hooks each year. Many of these birds are endangered and going toward extinction. The organization, Bird International had stated that in 1996, just three albatross species were threatened, but today all twenty-one species are at risk of extinction. Fishermen can decrease troublesome events with seabirds by putting extra weight on lines to make the bait sink faster. In some areas, sharks have been greatly impacted by longline fishing.
Another destructive practice of
fishing include using sodium cyanide. Sodium cyanideisapplied to reef crevices where fish hide. Almost 80% of marine aquarium fish sold internationally come from the Philippines where most are caught by using cyanide. The practice has been outlawed and many importers refuse cyanide-tainted fish, but the use of cyanide is still a problem.
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Blast fishing catches fish in an instant, but it is dangerous to fishermen. It can have a devestating impact to fish and coral reefs. Although it is prohibited in most countries, blast fishing is still used in Asia, Africa, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean. They hunt schools of fish, so larger fish who travel in groups and hide under large coral heads are specific targets. A single blast can destroy thousands of years of coral growth.

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