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Trawling for shellfish decimating precious marine life by Linda Stewart July 11,2012   |  Source: Belfast Telegraph

This stark image (of a prawn by-catch at an Irish port taken in a fine-mesh prawn trawl)shows the devastating impact of decades of intensive fishing of our seas.

An arsenal of environmental problems has been building beneath the waves, according to marine experts.

All this week the Belfast Telegraph is running a special ‘Save Our Seas’ series, revealing the devastating pressures that are draining our seas and waterways of life.

Cod stocks have crashed, as have sole and whiting. Our fishing industry now depend on catching vast quantities of prawns — and that should be setting off warning signals.

This startling image shows the prawn by-catch at an Irish port taken in a fine mesh prawn trawl.

Marine expert Professor Callum Roberts, who revealed on Monday how much of our rich fishing grounds in the Irish Sea have been reduced to mud and sand, says it reveals how our prawn industry is a fishery of last resort.

“You can spot a few prawns in there, but they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the collateral losses of juvenile fish, adult fish and seabed life that has been indiscriminately swept up,” he said.

“This is a fishery of last resort. It is what remains when we have overexploited pretty much everything else, and while we continue fishing like

 

© belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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