We need to see the banning or massively reduced practise of bottom trawling. Not only does it contribute to the levels of CO2 in our Ocean, but also Ocean pollution.   

What is bottom trawling? 

Bottom trawling is a widespread practice where heavy nets are dragged along the seabed.

This process pumps out 1 gigaton of carbon every year.

This is the equivalent to twice the mass of all of the people in the world or 5.5 million blue whales! 

On top of that, the amount of carbon dioxide released annually because of bottom trawling accounts for 2% of global emissions—a contribution similar to annual emissions from global aviation.   

After the nets are dragged along the Ocean floor, carbon is released from the seabed sediment into the water, and increases Ocean acidification, which has a knock-on effect on biodiversity.  

Protecting our future 

Only 7% of the Ocean is under some kind of protection. When the Ocean makes up more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, this number looks pathetic.  

If organisations work together with governments to identify a strategic plan – for example, regions with large-scale industrial fishing and major economic exclusion zones or marine territories – there would be a massive benefit for climate, food, and biodiversity.  Not only would marine pollution reduce but Ocean warming would drop and Carbon levels in the Ocean would stabilise. 

By eliminating 90% of the present risk of carbon disturbance due to bottom trawling would require protecting only about 4% of the Ocean, mostly within national waters.  

We need clean Ocean action. Can the COP26 deal with 4%? Let’s find out.