In a positive step towards helping struggling fisheries, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago last week joined Australia, Brazil, Canada, and similarly conservation-minded countries in banning bottom trawling in their waters.
trinidad and tobago flag
Trawling – the practice of dragging large nets to dredge the water and sea bed, resulting in very high levels of unwanted bycatch and habitat destruction – has long been identified as one of the most harmful industrial fishing practices. The International Game Fish Association has commended Senator Devant Maharaj of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Ministry of Food Production for working to bring trawling to a halt and support a healthier future for the region’s marine resources.
'We are seeing an increasing number of countries realize how vital and valuable it is to better protect their fisheries,' IGFA President Rob Kramer commented. 'We have been working in the United States to help transition to more sustainable commercial fishing gear such as greenstick and buoy gear, and recent socioeconomic reports are showing that recreational fisheries are contributing millions of dollars to the GDP of countries like Australia, Costa Rica, and Mexico thanks to recreational anglers. It just makes good environmental and economic sense to manage these resources well.'
Now that the country has made a progressive first step, IGFA Representatives David Wong and Gerard 'Frothy' de Silva, both of Trinidad and Tobago, plan to continue working with the IGFA to bring similar measures to local longlining practices.