For 50 Years, Deep-Water Trawls Likely Caught More Fish Than Anyone Thought

Using historical data and estimates from deep-sea trawls that drag nets along the ocean floor, researchers estimate that millions of tons of catch have gone unreported in the last 50 years.
Deep-sea trawling can include bycatch and harm coral, so some activists want it banned. Source: Monty Rakusen

Long before it lands on a restaurant menu, Chilean sea bass takes quite a journey to arrive on land. To catch these deep-sea dwellers, fishers usually drag nets along the ocean floor a quarter of a mile, or more, beneath the ocean's surface — a form of fishing called bottom trawling.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization tries to keep tabs on bottom trawling, which rakes in juvenile fish and lots of other ocean species that are not the desired catch, depleting future fish stocks. It asks member countries to adhere to quotas and report

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