As you enjoy those last holiday cookies before the New Year comes with its resolutions, weâ€™d love to share one final present for you to enjoy: we are thrilled to announce that last week, the country of Chile became the first in the world to protect all of its seamounts from the devastating effects of bottom trawling! Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless and actor and Oceana board member Ted Danson collaborated in an article published by the Huffington Post to share this excellent news with the world.
Seamounts are underwater mountain ranges that are home to an unbelievable array of sea creatures fed by the nutrient-rich water from the deep upwells. The destructive practice of bottom trawling, where large, heavy nets weighing as much as several tons each effectively clear-cut everything living on the seafloor, causes more direct and avoidable damage to the ocean floor and its creatures than any other human activity in the world. Although some of Chileâ€™s seamounts have already been damaged or destroyed by the countryâ€™s fishing fleet, the December 20 decision closes any further trawling to Chileâ€™s 118 seamounts until scientists have assessed these and other underwater ecosystems off the coast of Chile.