Drag fishing in the high seas has been an issue of concern for the marine ecologists for quite some time. The technique of dragging heavy fishing nets along the ocean floor to trap fish results in the destruction and harming of the fine marine ecological balance.
Drag fishing can result in damage to the sea mounts. These are mountain ranges on the ocean floor. These mounts are the habitat of rare corals, deep-sea sponges and plenty of other marine life.
They also are the source of food to many fishes. When heavy nets are dragged against them, they not only harm the mounts but also damage this delicate ecosystem.
The environmentalists’ concerns have now been addressed to some extent, thanks to the ecological deal that has been finalized between the various countries along the shores of the North Pacific Ocean.
This deal will protect about 16.1 million sq miles of the ocean floor from the destructive fishing practice known as bottom-trawl fishing.
This agreement advocates the formation of an organization to check the further expansion of trawl fishing. The agreement concerns the international waters from Alaska to Hawaii.
The agreement was finalized in Vancouver and the participating countries include Japan, South Korea, Russia, Canada, China and Taiwan after prolonged discussions that lasted for over 5 years.
The idea is to freeze the current footprint of trawl fishing to be able to control the damage. Until more eco-friendly fishing techniques are developed, the scientists will have plenty of time to study the fish stock and also work out a long term plan. Although steps are being taken to protect the ocean waters, there is plenty of unprotected area that is of concern to the environmentalists.
Drag fishing results in universal damage as they trap species other than individual species being fished. With depletion of fish stock near the shore lines, industrial fishing has now moved on to deeper and higher seas, thus increasing their area of damage.
It now remains to be seen if this agreement will be given teeth in the form of power that helps to enforce the restrictions agreed on by the pacific countries. Despite the agreement, the unprotected waters which cover an area of 5.1 million sq miles remain a matter of concern.