Bottom trawling involves dragging large nets along the ocean floor, disrupting everything in their path, including corals and other marine habitats. Due to the non-selective nature of the gear, it also captures significant levels of fish that are subsequently discarded as bycatch, some of which are species at risk. Bottom trawling is also very fuel intensive, consuming the greatest amount of fossil fuel per unit of fish landed of any fishing method.
Canada's approach to addressing habitat impacts from bottom trawling is narrow in scope, does not measure up to international best practices, and does not fulfill the letter or the spirit and intent of international agreements signed by Canada.
Dragging Our Assets: Toward an Ecosystem Approach to Bottom Trawling in Canada, by David Suzuki Foundation sustainable fisheries analyst Scott Wallace, offers recommendations to reduce the ecological impact of bottom trawling while still maintaining access to fisheries resources.