Stop Killing and Wasting Sealife With Fishing Nets

Target: Richard W. Spinrad, Administer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Goal: Demand stricter regulations on bottom-trawling fishing operations to reduce fish waste.

In addition to the seafood that ends up on our plates, millions of metric tons of dead animals get dumped back into the ocean each year. These fish are usually unintentional bycatch of bottom-trawling—an indiscriminate fishing method that peruses the bottom of the seafloor, picking up everything in its path—and are discarded as though their lives meant nothing. Fish are sensitive animals and typically don’t survive being thrown back once they are caught.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that a whopping 35% of all sea animals—this includes fish, crustaceans, and mollusks—harvested from oceans, lakes, and fish farms are wasted or perish long before they ever even have the chance to be eaten. We are already seeing significant decreases in fishing populations, as an estimated 30-60% of fish stocks are overfished.

Sign this petition to demand that legislators enact stricter regulations on bottom-trawling and reduce the number of fish lives that are utterly wasted.


Dear Administer Spinrad,

Each year, millions of metric tons of dead fish, crustaceans, and mollusks become unintentional bycatch of a fishing method known as bottom-trawling. This technique consists of a large, tapered net which fishing fleets tow along the ocean floors. Bottom-trawling is indiscriminate, and catches pretty much anything and everything in the nets’ path. In addition to catching fish and other marine life, borrow-trawling destroys the seabed habitat, tearing up root systems and digging up animals’ burrows as it makes its way across the ocean floor. Since fish are extremely sensitive animals, they only rarely survive being thrown back into the sea.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 35% of all sea animals harvested from waterways are wasted before they ever reach a plate. In an industry already responsible for overexploiting an approximate 30-60% of all fish stocks, we must be more conscientious about the impacts of our actions—not only on the populations of fish, mollusks, and crustaceans that we consume, but on entire marine ecosystems as well.

We are asking you, Mr. Spinrad, to enforce stricter regulations for the use of bottom-trawling to reduce the millions of metric tons of fish that are wasted each and every year.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Chung Kevin

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