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Subject: Re: Deep Threats for High Seas
From: Michael Elvin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 9 Aug 2006 07:34:10 EDT
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Sterling says

"Dr. Kaufman, if so little is known about the "ESGOs" why is there 
either "no scientific justification for [ignoring their survival by] deep 
sea trawling," or [why] "are the arguments against ...[deep sea 
trawling].. excellent"? 

Is that not like saying "because we do not know how tall the building is, 
we must build skyscrapers to measure it and we must prevent airplanes 
from flying until we do? 

Or am I missing something?"

I think you're missing something. Dragnet trawling is just too efficient at 
scooping up everything in its path. There are photos on the web of before and 
after scenes, and trawling does indeed transform areas rich in benthic life 
into barren deserts.

By way of analogy, it would be like fencing a forest and then burning it 
down. Sure, you could very efficiently capture every animal living there. But no 
one would think it was a sustainable method.

The worst practise is seamount trawling. The tops of remote seamounts are 
island biospheres, containing many species not found anywhere else. Despite the 
fact that they have not been extensively studied, we can readily understand 
there is zero justification for allowing trawlers to clearcut there, decimating 
endemic species before we even know what they were. It's a one time plundering 
of the earth's bounty. Once the money is spent, everything's gone.

Michael Elvin

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