Thinking outside the net

The Nature Conservancy in partnership with Environmental Defense has developed an innovative way to make sustainable fishing a win-win situation for both conservationists and fishermen. By purchasing federal trawling permits and trawling vessels from fishermen in California, the Conservancy will provide the fishermen with the income necessary to find an alternate and sustainable way to make a living while protecting 3.8 million acres of ocean off California’s central coast from bottom trawling. This will allow degraded bottom habitats and fish species off the coast of central California to recover. For years fishermen have dragged large weighted nets along the ocean bottom, which damage the habitat and scoop up species not targeted by the fishermen that gets tossed back (usually dead) into the ocean as bycatch. Continue reading