6PANTURA, Indonesia — More than 10,000 brightly painted trawlers regularly come and go from the rowdy fishing ports along this 1,000-kilometer-long northern coastline of Java, the world’s most populous island. Many of them are going nowhere fast. “Because I still use the cantrang it’s not possible for me to update my paperwork,” said Sutikno, the deputy head of the fishing association in the island’s eastern district of Lamongan, using the common Indonesian term for a seine net. Seine fishing involves the use of vast nets weighted down to the seabed to envelop larger volumes of schooling fish, such as tuna. The basic principle dates back millennia, but research shows the intensity of modern fisheries has made the modern method increasingly unsustainable. At issue is the seine nets’ inability to distinguish between the valuable catch and almost anything else: a kilometer-wide seine net dragged behind a 20-ton fishing boat snatches everything in its path. Globally around 90% of fish species are classified as either fully exploited or overfished — research shows many fish species, like popular bluefin and yellowfin tuna, are being caught faster than the rate at which they can replenish. In recent years a raft of coastal nations responded to dwindling fish stocks by enacting domestic curbs on the seine net, ranging from limits in near-shore waters to outright prohibition. Skippers in India and the Philippines, for example, are agitating against restrictions imposed by their respective governments. Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affaris and Fisheries says fishers have over the…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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