Each living organism in the ocean has its specific role in the carbon cycle. Large sea creatures like whales store a great amount of carbon; schools of small fish transport carbon deep into the ocean; seagrass meadows, mangroves, kelp forests, and salt marshes have amazing carbon storage capacity; and predatory fish keep herbivorous marine animals in balance, preventing them from damaging ecosystems. In the end, the carbon contained in excrement and dead animals falls to the bottom of the ocean and are stored in the seafloor for thousands of years. Thus, the richer and the more diverse organisms are in the ocean, the stronger the ocean’s ability to mitigate climate change.
In the EU alone, bottom trawling kills tens of thousands of tonnes of marine life as bycatch every year, which represents 93.2% of the discards in the European Union. Removing this massive amount of sea life from the ocean, compromises the ocean’s role in storing carbon, and contributes to accelerating climate change.
Posted on: 5 October 2023