just saw this story on the xitter!
from the Guardian
Carbon released by bottom trawling ‘too big to ignore’, says study
Scientists have long known that bottom trawling – the practice of dragging massive nets along the seabed to catch fish – churns up carbon from the sea floor. Now, for the first time, researchers have calculated just how much trawling releases into the atmosphere: 370m tonnes of planet-heating carbon dioxide a year – an amount, they say, that is “too big to ignore”.
Over the study period, 1996-2020, they estimated the total carbon dioxide released from trawling to the atmosphere to be 8.5 to 9.2bn tonnes. The scientists described trawling as “marine deforestation” that causes “irreparable harm” to the climate, society and wildlife.
The study – Atmospheric CO2 emissions and ocean acidification from bottom trawling, written by a global team of climate and ocean experts – found that 55-60% of the carbon dioxide in the water released from the seabed by trawlers will make it to the atmosphere within nine years.
From Inside Climate News
A Common Fishing Practice Called Bottom Trawling Releases Significant Amounts of CO2 Into Earth’s Atmosphere
The world’s oceans are massive and critical carbon sinks that absorb roughly one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions humans generate by burning fossil fuels and reshaping Earth’s landscape.
New research finds that a particular fishing method reverses at least part of that flow, and contributes to global warming.
For the first time, researchers have determined that bottom trawling, a fishing practice that yields about 25 percent of the world’s wild-caught seafood, releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—as much, potentially, as the greenhouse gases from the fuel combustion of the entire global fishing fleet each year.
Bottom trawling is an intensive fishing practice in which boats drag giant nets along the ocean floor to catch some of the most consumed species in the world, including shrimp and pollack—the stuff of fish sticks. A study published in Nature in 2021 found that this action of churning up the top layer of seabeds emits more carbon than the entire global aviation industry.
And what will happen if they start mining the sea floor?