The Philippines ends bottom trawling in all municipal waters, protects ocean nurseries | Oceana
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In the Philippines, following Oceana’s campaign, the government removed a loophole and effectively ended bottom trawling in all its municipal waters (which are critical sources of seafood and sustenance for many Filipinos). In the late 1990s, the Philippines passed a law limiting industrial fishing in local waters but allowed smaller vessels – under three tons – to fish (with the intent of encouraging artisanal fishing in these water). This exception led to the creation of a new industrial fleet of “mini trawlers” that continued to operate near the coasts of the Philippines. The Government of the Philippines has now removed the loophole and mandated the decommissioning of all bottom trawl gear and reaffirmed the right of access – as intended in the original legislation – for artisanal fishers to municipal waters. Bottom trawlers destroy habitat, which includes ocean nurseries, by dragging heavily weighted nets across the ocean floor in pursuit of fish and leaving behind damage that can take centuries to recover from.