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Countries Agree to Manage Fishing Limits in Northeast Pacific
By Joseph Tepper, March 9, 2011 @ 02:00 PM (EST)
Source: Environmental News Network

Several countries with maritime borders in the North Pacific Ocean have signed a collective agreement, which will help protect 16.1 million square miles of sea floor in the region from the damaging effects of bottom trawling.

Signed by the United States, Japan, Canada, China, South Korea, Russia, and Taiwan after five years of negotiations, the plan will require the institution of a specific organization to monitor sea bottom fisheries in the North pacific, while also putting a cap on the current region of bottom trawling from Hawaii to Alaska. The effects of this dragging technique include damage to seamounts, cold-water corals, and a variety of other deep-sea marine life crucial to the system’s balance.

“What it does is freeze the footprint of where they are fishing now,” explained Ben Enticknap of Oceana. "The idea is that we can develop a more sustainable fishery.”

While controls of bottom trawling and fishing practices in the region have “fallen through the cracks” in the past, environmentalists from Oceana and other organizations that these practices will not be a ‘drag’ anymore.

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