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Carbon released by bottom trawling ‘too big to ignore’, says study

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A new study reveals that bottom trawling, a common fishing practice, releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, estimated at 370 million tonnes annually
Over 1996-2020, this amounted to 8.5 to 9.2 billion tonnes of CO2, likened to "marine deforestation"

🔭 The context: Bottom trawling involves dragging large nets across the sea floor, disturbing sediments and releasing stored carbon
This process not only harms marine ecosystems but also contributes to ocean acidification and reduces the oceans' capacity to absorb carbon
The study utilized vessel-tracking databases and models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The released carbon from bottom trawling significantly contributes to global warming, akin to the emissions from the aviation industry
This adds a critical dimension to understanding oceanic impacts on climate change, emphasizing the need for sustainable fishing practices

⏭️ What's next: The study's findings urge countries to include emissions from bottom trawling in their climate action plans
Delaying action means these emissions will continue affecting the atmosphere for the next decade, highlighting the need for immediate interventions in the fishing industry

💬 One quote: "Much like destroying forests, scraping up the sea floor causes irreparable harm to the climate, society, and wildlife" (Dr. Trisha Atwood, aquatic ecologist at Utah State University)

📈 One stat: Bottom trawling releases 370 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, equivalent to the annual emissions from the entire global fishing fleet


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