Oceana claims satellite data shows bottom trawling, with most intensely trawled sites in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Denmark
Oceana’s analysis showed that about 75% of the bottom fishing activity is carried out by beam-trawling, a particularly harmful fishing technique used to catch flat fish (such as sole or plaice), which consists of dragging heavy nets attached to a steel beam that holds the nets open on the seafloor.
2021 is a critical year for Nature and Ocean protection, as international discussions are taking place under the United Nations to adopt a new global framework to reverse biodiversity loss by mid-century. Negotiations are ongoing about a target to protect at least 30% of the planet (land and sea) by 2030, and leaders are expected to also discuss the issue at the IUCN Congress. An Oceana-led petition has already gathered almost 150,000 signatures urging the European Commission to act to ban bottom trawling in all EU MPAs in its upcoming Action Plan on the oceans expected in early 2022.
Top 10 most bottom-fished Natura 2000 sites in Europe (2020)
|MPA name||EU country||Total 2020 bottom-fishing recorded in the MPA (hours)|
|Nationalpark Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer||Germany||732 775|
|Wattenmeer und angrenzende Küstengebiete||Germany||576 393|
|Sylter Außenriff||Germany||318 582|
|Noordzeekustzone||The Netherlands||117 683|
|Mers Celtiques – Talus du golfe de Gascogne||France||117 574|
|Waddenzee||The Netherlands||110 451|
|Doggerbank (German part)||Germany||93 092|
|Skagens Gren og Skagerak||Denmark||49 092|