Release the Kraken: Mythical sea creature join the battle against trawling

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Last monday conservationist counted with the help of a legendary sea fish on a campaign against bottom trawling. Fortunately we’re not talking about the Kraken from the movies (that fight against the greeks and destroy their ships), but something quite similar:

Meet the Giant Oarfish!

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The Oarfish lives in the mesopelagic layer, ranging as deeply as 1,000 meters up to 20 meters. This makes him a rare creature, endorsing even more the myth around him. It has no commercial value, but over the past years it had been victim of bycatch. This means that vessels fishing with nets are accidentally capturing this specie, which has no value, and that causes unnecessary death of those discarded fishes.

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And last week some ocean conservationists decided to use footages of the Oarfish in his natural habitat as an effort to highlight the dangers from trawling the sea bed.

The practice of trawling (fishing with nets) can cause huge damage to the sea environment, destroying huge areas, removing seaweeds and shattering corals. It also thread specimens to the extinction by accidentally catching and killing unwanted and non-commercial fishes (like the Oarfish). But sadly is still a common practice. EU countries account for about 60 percent of global catch according to the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (a group of more than 70 associations).

France and Spain are fighting attempts by the European Commission to outlaw the practice. A key vote takes place in Brussels on October 3.

We found this footage with one of the rare occasions where the Oarfish were recorded in it’s natural habitat:

Source: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-mythical-sea-creature-bottom-trawling.html

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