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How To Stop Ocean Floor Trawling?

justanyone (308934) writes | more than 6 years ago

Earth 1

According to lots of environmental groups, the world's oceans are being cleaned out,

According to lots of environmental groups, the world's oceans are being cleaned out, made into deserts where no large edible fish swim (and I like to eat Fish, darnit!). According to, this is a direct result of massive (and frequently illegal) overfishing with drift net and bottom-dragging trawling. These operations depend on lax or nonexistent enforcement of fishing boundaries and the economies of scale of very cheap, cubic-mile-capacity nets. Stopping this illegal fishing is crucial to restoring the bounty of underwater life to sustainable levels. Public policy changes will happen as people start starving, but political inertia has its own rules. I'm asking for TECHNICAL, economic ideas to reduce illegal bottom trawling. I've thought of netcutting concrete-anchored (or chained-together) HOok-SCythes (HOSC's) to slash the nets (designs, anyone?). This could also work in the open ocean with neutrally bouyant net-slicers. Razor wire is also good, but ONLY on the bottom or it might entrap and kill whales (though this is hardly a new problem). Any other ideas out there? Remember, keep it inexpensive, there's tens of thousands of square miles of ocean bottom to protect!

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Topic came up in Collapse (1)

shanen (462549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23387720)

Jared Diamond writes well and I recommend the book.

However, I think you are greatly underestimating the balance of the problem. Consider it from an operating system perspective. The scarce resource here is not continental shelf, and you are going to be hard pressed to create an artificial scarcity of continental shelf no matter what you do. The bottleneck resource is the illegal fishing boats, which can be targeted effectively.

Basically, the technical resources are in place, but it is only the misdirected will of the American government not to use the spy satellites more effectively. They wouldn't need to redirect them completely, but they already have sufficient eyes in the sky to track all of the ships all around the world--and it is actually in everyone's interest to figure out what those ships are doing. If illegal fishing, then that should be stopped, but these days it might well be something much more dangerous.
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