CHILEAN DEPUTIES APPROVE BILL TO BAN TRAWLING
Last week, Chilean lawmakers approved an initiative to ban trawling, a method of fishing that involves pulling a net through the water behind boats. The draft agreement, which would prohibit trawling within Chile’s exclusive economic zone and territorial sea, pointed to the damage the use of trawl nets can do to marine ecosystems. As the initiative explained, when trawling nets dredge the seabed, they “remove or destroy everything on their way, seriously affecting all species that live there.” The proposal emphasized that most of the species caught by trawling are discarded, estimating that trawling accounts for 50% of discards worldwide. Henan Machuca, spokesperson for the Council for the Defense of Fisheries, stated that the proposed legislation should benefit both artisanal fishermen and marine ecosystems. The Chamber of Deputies reported that the initiative would exempt from the ban aquatic resources that can only be caught through the use of nets and bottom trawl systems. For the full story, see http://en.mercopress.com/2014/08/15/chilean-lawmakers-approve-initiative-to-ban-trawling-in-territorial-waters.