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Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
December 2021

New Perspectives on an Old Fishing Practice: Scale, Context and Impacts of Bottom Trawling

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A new report by leading fisheries experts found that over 99 percent of bottom trawling worldwide occurs inside the Exclusive Economic Zones of coastal nations—with much of the effort focused within just 12 miles of shore—posing risks to critical habitats and traditional, small-scale, artisanal fishing operations. As the only globally significant fishing practice that requires sustained contact with the seabed, bottom trawling has a uniquely high impact, one that can drive habitat destruction, coastal conflict and major fuel-related carbon emissions.

This report was authored by teams from Fauna & Flora International, CEA Consulting, Sea Around Us, Duke University, and Blue Ventures. Funding for this report was provided by Oceans 5, Oak Foundation, and Oceankind.