Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Bycatch- An ecological nightmare.

When massive trawlers spread their nets, to catch those tasty shrimps or fish and haul them onboard they haul much more than shrimps. In fishing industry it is called a “bycatch”. An average shrimp-trawling operation throws 80 to 90 percent of the sea animals it captures overboard, dead or dying as bycatch. Shrimps account for only 2% of global seafood by weight, but shrimp trawling accounts for 33% of global bycatch. Most of us are unaware about this, since there exists no bycatch label on our sea food. How would you feel, if the shrimp you buy had this tag on it “13 KILOGRAMS OF OTHER SEA ANIMALS WERE KILLED AND TOSSED BACK INTO THE OCEAN FOR EVERY HALF KILO OF THIS SHRIMP”
While catching fish like tuna, among the other 145 species regularly caught the following endangered species meet their end. manta ray, devil ray, spotted skate, bignose shark, copper shark, Galapagos shark, sandbar shark, night shark, sand tiger shark, (great) white shark, hammerhead shark, spurdog fish, Cuban dogfish, bigeye thresher, mako, blue shark, wahoo, sailfish, bonito, longbill spearfish, lancet fish, grey triggerfish, needlefish, blue runner, black ruff, dolphin fish, bigeye cigarfish, porcupine fish, rainbow runner, common sea horse, Bermuda chub, opah, escolar, leerfish, tripletail, goosefish, monkfish, sunfish, Murray eel, pilotfish, black gemfish, bluefish, cassava fish, red drum, greater amberjack, yellowtail, common sea bream, puffer fish, loggerhead turtle, green turtle, leatherback turtle, hawksbill turtle, Kemp’s ridley turtle, Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, Audouin’s gull, balearic shearwater, black-browed albatross, great black-backed gull, great shearwater, great-winged petrel, grey petrel, northern royal albatross, shy albatross, sooty shearwater, southern fulmar, Yelkouan shearwater, minke whale, sei whale, fin whale, common dolphin, northern right whale, pilot whale, humpback whale, beaked whale, killer whale, harbor porpoise, sperm whale, striped dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, spinner dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, and goose-beaked whale.

So imagine, you have a plate of sushi. Now imagine this plate also holds all the animals that were killed for your sushi. That plate then would have to be 5 feet across to accommodate all the bycatch.

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