France: Rock Bottom | European Journal | DW | 19.02.2014
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European Journal

France: Rock Bottom

No more deep sea fishing? French trawlers drag their nets over the ocean floor, endangering the unique cold water coral reefs in the Atlantic. Public pressure is growing keep fishing confined to coastal areas.

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Overfishing has led fishermen to move to the high seas. According to the United Nations, these deep-sea areas are highly vulnerable ecosystems, with their unique biodiversity and slow life cycles. Spanish, Portuguese and French deep-sea fishers in particular still use old-fashioned methods such as bottom trawling. The haul from the ocean depths is only a fraction of the catch, but environmentalists say its impact is dramatic.