Sunday, 23 January 2011

Belize Banishes Destructive Trawling - Huffington Post

One of my most favourite places in the world, Belize, is becoming a leader for countries trying to reduce their environmental impact on the seas. As of December 8th, Belize has placed a complete and permanent ban on trawling, one of the most destructive methods of fishing in the world.

A brief definition of trawling and its impacts:

"Bottom trawling is one of the most destructive fishing methods in existence. Bottom trawlers are equipped with massive, weighted nets that effectively clear-cut the ocean floor, destroying sensitive coral communities and anything else in their path.

Meanwhile, shrimp trawls -- which were operating in Belize until now -- operate in midwater, so they pose a different threat. They catch more untargeted species, or bycatch, than almost any other kind of fishing gear. Thousands of sea turtles, marine mammals and untargeted fish are caught in shrimp trawlers around the world every year."

Belize is home to the second largest coral reef system in the world, - the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef - second only to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. It is a hotspot for divers and snorkelers around the world. (Personally, I'd highly recommend it! I wasn't diving at the time, only snorkeling, but I saw TONS of cool stuff and will definitely go back to dive as soon as I can!)

One of my own from Belize :)

Full article here (Huffington Post)

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