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Electric Shock Fishing — Another Way to Decimate Ocean Life

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

electric shock fishing

Story at-a-glance -

  • Electric shock fishing, otherwise known as “pulse fishing,” uses electric pulses to shock fish, causing them to leap into nets above them
  • Dutch fishing vessels have been found using the pulse method in a marine sanctuary called Dogger Bank, located in the North Sea; Dogger Bank is a protected marine area under EU law
  • While the Dutch fleet was supposed to be allotted 15 vessels for the experimental pulse fishing method, their numbers have ballooned to more than 80, which catch 92 percent of sole caught by Dutch trawlers
  • A complaint has been filed with the EU Commission, alleging that the Dutch vessels are illegally trawling in the Dogger Bank, putting vulnerable marine life at risk
  • Electric pulse fishing has already been banned in China, Vietnam, Brazil, the U.S. and Uruguay because of concerns that it harms or kills most fish while degrading habitat; nontarget species, such as large cods, may be left with a fractured spine and internal bleeding after the shock

The world's oceans are under assault from multiple enemies — plastics, chemicals and overfishing among them. With fish, human exploitation, including overfishing, is the major cause of declining marine species, with some declining in numbers by 74 percent between 1970 and 2010.

Demand for seafood, meanwhile, continues to increase, with global per capita fish consumption rising to more than 20 kilograms (about 44 pounds) for the first time in 2016 — double the level of the 1960s, according to a Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report.

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