Introducing no-trawl zones

Ban on trawling pondered

In an attempt to preserve Mobile Bay, an agreement is being worked on that — should it succeed — ban large areas of the Bay to shrimp trawlers. Apparently (I didn’t know this but could have guessed) trawling does for sea bottom what clear-cutting does for forests.

Shrimpers, of course, don’t want any no-trawl zones. Conservationists and recreational fishermen want lots. Interestingly, it’s small-boat captains who are opposed to the closure. Large boats can’t get into the shallow areas of the Bay they’re talking about closing, and anyway if the ban went into effect they’d get larger shrimp. (The young shrimp live in the shallows, then move into the outer reaches when they grow up.)

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