Scientists have told how fishermen litter the oceans
The waters of the oceans are constantly polluted with plastic and metal. One of the biggest contributors to pollution is fishing – the amount of waste from this industry is amazing.
According to the calculations of Australian researchers, only one fishing line enters the oceans every year so much that it would be enough to encircle the Earth 18 times. And in 65 years, the gear lost in sea waters will be enough to cover the entire surface of the planet – and this is taking into account industrial fishing, ignoring recreational fishing.
This conclusion was made by marine socioecologist Kelsey Richardson from the University of Tasmania and his colleagues. They surveyed 450 fishermen in seven countries, asking them about the volume and causes of loss of fishing gear.
The researchers found that from the US to Morocco, Indonesia and New Zealand, the types of ships used affected losses.
“Proportionately more gear was lost on smaller fishing boats,” write Richardson and his team in their article. Scientists have suggested that larger vessels may have better navigation technologies and instruments that reduce losses.
Among the types of gear, trawl nets were in the lead, which are used at great depths. Bottom trawling is known to be environmentally damaging in itself.
Nevertheless, this practice is widespread and quite profitable – it supplies humanity with about a quarter of all seafood caught in the wild.
According to this survey, bad weather also contributed to the loss of gear.
The good news is that Australian researchers estimate that fewer gear is being lost today than in 2019, despite rising rates of fish catches. This is probably also due to improvements in fishing techniques and increased manufacturability of equipment.
The authors of the study insist on revising the approach to doing business in the oceans. They emphasize that many non-industrial species, such as rays, suffer from the catch. Their population has already declined by 70% over the past half century.