The damage that fishing trawlers can do

A great deal has been written in recent years about the damage that commercial fishing boats do to the world’s environment. They deplete the cod stocks of the North Sea. They rip up the coral of the Great Barrier Reef. They harpoon whales in Arctic waters, and then get told off by the Auzzies, who wanted to be harpooning the whales instead. They even kidnap the occasional do-gooder environmental activist, when they get bored with hunting fish.

Yes, fishing vessels are getting a bad rap these days.

But it is actually quite difficult to write good articles about environmental issues, particularly where fishermen are concerned. There is simply too much to say – and a great deal of what can be said is not very clear, and with no solid message. We keep hearing stories about the North Sea and how all the cod is being hunted to extinction (in that region), which is why the EU is slapping European fishing vessels with certain quotas. But then one can think: so what? The common cod is not a particularly beautiful fish. Let it die out. Surely us Brits can live with having hake with our chips instead?

So I am not going to grapple with the rights and wrongs of life on the ocean waves, or attack any particular country for the shameful way it has been letting its fishing fleet behave. I don’t speak Japanese, anyway.

No, instead, I am going to briefly mention one particular Italian trawler, which, sometime last week, was fishing not far from Palermo.

Some days ago, we noticed that our new high-speed connection at work was starting to run exceedingly slow, and occasionally was not working at all. This is proving immensely frustrating.

How are the two seemingly random comments above connected? Well, the answer came to me last night, whilst I was chatting with a friend who holds a fairly senior position at Canar, the telecommunications company. He told me that, whilst this trawler was fishing off the Italian coast, it somehow managed to cut through the major cable that plugs most of Sudan into the Internet. Had this guy not been in the position he is in, I would be sceptical. I mean, I’m not much of a fisherman, but how can one measly little boat do so much damage to a country? What were they doing? Spear-hunting shark? Dynamite fishing?

But, whatever my scepticism, he said this and not me. I am just reporting the message. The internet in Sudan is screwed because of some poxy Italian fishing vessel.

(This entry is a little out of date, it is true, but – hey! – that is because of all the Internet problems in uploading it!)


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2 Responses to “The damage that fishing trawlers can do”

  1. Fishing trawler cuts Sudan’s main Internet cable « Science Notes Says:

    […] trawlers to the sea floor, I found this item on Brian Rig’s blog, from February: “The damage that fishing trawlers can do.” I am going to briefly mention one particular Italian trawler, which, sometime last week, […]

  2. wędkarstwo morskie Says:

    Ciekawy blog, dodalem go do ulubionych, bede tu napewno wpadal czesciej

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