The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SNF), a SAR member, has produced a report condemning the negative environmental effects of bottom trawling.

According to the report, trawling is one of the least energy-efficient fishing methods and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) claims that bottom trawling produces bigger bycatches than any other technique, which means the discards associated with bottom trawling are also significant.

It was also noted that both Norway and the US have gone further in reducing bottom trawling than Sweden – and the European Union.

The organisations’ recommendations for the future included scrapped exemption from fuel taxes for Swedish fishermen and extended areas where bottom trawling is banned, and, in the EU, Swedish initiatives to forbid it in other zones that should be protected, as well as better labeling of fish products on the market, so consumers could see what methods have been used to catch the fish they may buy.

The presentation, at this years’ Almedalen Week meetings on the Baltic island of Gotland, was followed by a public debate between representatives for both the ruling non-socialist alliance and the opposition Social Democrats. None of those advocated a general ban for bottom trawling in Swedish waters, nor did they proscribe unilateral Swedish abstaining from EU fisheries fuel subsidies.


Link to SNF report in Swedish

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