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  2. Mar 25, 2021

Yearly Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Trawling for Fish Similar to Global Aviation

fish trawlers pollution
Photo: Getty Images

Another reason to stop eating fish: A new study published in the journal Nature finds that the amount of carbon dioxide released into the ocean from trawling—a fishing method used worldwide that drags heavy nets across the ocean floor—is larger than most countries’ annual carbon emissions and similar to annual carbon dioxide emissions from global aviation.

“The ocean floor is the world's largest carbon storehouse. If we’re to succeed in stopping global warming, we must leave the carbon-rich seabed undisturbed. Yet every day, we are trawling the seafloor, depleting its biodiversity and mobilizing millennia-old carbon and thus exacerbating climate change. Our findings about the climate impacts of bottom trawling will make the activities on the ocean’s seabed hard to ignore in climate plans going forward,” said Dr. Trisha Atwood of Utah State University, a co-author of the paper.

In addition to helping fight climate change, avoiding fish has health benefits, too. Learn more in our fact sheet:



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