Press Release Date: September 2, 2021



Emily Fairless, Communications Officer | email: | tel.: +32 478 038 490

Oceana detected an error in a 2021 analysis of bottom trawling in EU Marine Protected Areas. During the process to import Global Fishing Watch data into Oceana’s geographic information system (GIS), a computing error occurred with one of the files, which was seemingly corrupted. This error distorted the analysis and as a result, Oceana removed the associated press release from our website.

Since 2021, Oceana has changed the GIS software used for our analyses, and modified the methodology, to avoid these types of mistakes from happening in future. We invite you to read our most recent analyses of fishing activities in EU MPAs:

Given the destructive nature of bottom trawling, in terms of lack of selectivity, bycatch, and physical impacts on habitats, even a small amount of fishing with this gear can have negative long-term impacts on marine ecosystems. The recovery time for seabed communities affected by bottom trawling has been estimated to be between 7.5 and 15 years after one single pass of a beam trawl.

The prevalence of these destructive fishing practices inside EU MPAs over the years is likely to be in breach of EU legislation, no matter the intensity or number of hours considered. This is why we are campaigning to ban bottom trawling inside all EU MPAs.