Trawling catches pretty much all fish and invertebrates, even while wrecking habitats. It is the single biggest threat to seahorses, but they are hardly alone in that. Trawling is a devastatingly bad way to fish.
I’m not sure whether to be enthralled or appalled by the trawl fisheries of southern India. Probably both.
Does banning the catch and trade of a species really help conservation efforts? This is the question that my research with Project Seahorse, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, The University of British Columbia (UBC), explores. I am studying the impact of catch and trade bans on the conservation of incidentally caught marine species, and the livelihoods dependent on them. To understand this, I use the case study of seahorses in India, where the fisheries are poorly regulated.
One story, however, had a positive message that stood out from the rest: the successful conservation of whale sharks along the coast of Gujarat, a state on India’s west coast.
Located between the southeastern tip of India and the northwestern tip of Sri Lanka, the Gulf of Mannar is home to mangrove and sea grass habitats- ideal feeding and breeding grounds for many species. Unfortunately, it is also known for its longstanding problems with overfishing and destructive fishing practices.