A Transactional and Collaborative Approach to Reducing the Effects of Bottom Trawling
Private-sector financial and legal transactions have long been used to protect terrestrial habitats and working landscapes, but less commonly to address critical threats in marine environments. Transferable and marketable fishing privileges, including permits and quotas, make it possible to use private-sector transactions as conservation strategies to address some fishery management issues. Abating the effects of bottom trawling on the seafloor and bycatch and discard associated with the practice has proven challenging. This collaborative effort protected 1.5 million ha (3.8 million acres) of seafloor, reduced trawl effort in the area by 50%, and set a precedent for collaborative partnerships between conservation and fishing interests.