Thursday May 30, 2024


Fishing trawls cause significant CO2 emissions as they stir up the carbon bound in the seabed and release it again. It is also clear that they drastically affect ecosystems in the ocean. A new study by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon models the influence of bottom trawls on sedimentary carbon in the North Sea. It also shows that restrictions on fishing in certain areas would benefit life in the ocean and on land.

The study is published in the journal Biogeosciences.

What would happen if bottom trawling were banned in all currently designated marine protected areas? In the North Sea, trawls cause CO2 emissions on the order of one million tons to be released into the atmosphere every year by stirring up organically bound carbon.

“This is a conservative estimate compared to other studies and corresponds to the emissions from the diesel engines of the fishing fleet itself,” says coastal researcher and lead author Lucas Porz from the Institute of Coastal Systems—Analysis and Modeling at Hereon. Current marine protected areas have little positive impact on carbon storage. But by designating “carbon protection zones,” both sedimentary carbon and habitats could be effectively protected.

Read more >

Link copied successfully