South Pacific to be protected from destructive fishing.

AuthorHerro, Alana

More than 20 nations in the South Pacific have agreed to restrict bottom trawling, an invasive form of fishing that can devastate marine habitats, in areas with vulnerable ecosystems. Fishers will be prohibited from using the practice, which involves dragging large trawl nets along the sea floor, in marine regions where deep-water corals and other sensitive ecosystems are known or likely to exist, unless the area has been previously assessed and protective measures are in place. Observers and monitoring systems will help enforce the pact, which enters into effect on September 30.


The agreement was formulated in Renaca, Chile, and will affect roughly a quarter of the world's high seas, from the Equator to the Antarctic Circle and from Australia to South America. Fishers from New Zealand alone are responsible for some 90 percent of bottom trawling in the region, and the nation's delegation has raised concern that the new rules would...

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