A common fishing method called bottom trawling causes potentially irreversible erosion of the sea floor and could reduce the ocean’s ability to bury carbon.
Commercial fishing fleets worldwide practise bottom trawling, in which heavy gear and massive nets are dragged along the sea floor to maximize catch. To study the method’s impact, Sarah Paradis at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, and her colleagues analysed sediments taken from a trawling ground in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea during trawling season, when intensive trawling was occurring, and during seasonal closures. The authors compared the samples with sediment from untrawled sea floor nearby.
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