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Accidental catch of deepwater coral

December 2007, a New Zealand commercial fishing vessel accidentally caught a large amount of deepwater coral while bottom trawling near the Chatham Islands. The New Zealand Government is working with the fishing industry to understand what happened and how it can be avoided in the future. Bottom trawling has an impact on the seabed environment, and New Zealand is working hard to manage that impact. Last year the Government closed an area of 1.2 million square kilometres, over 30% of New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone to bottom trawling. This is the largest bottom trawling closure in the world. In total 52% of all seamounts, 28% of all underwater features such as hills and knolls, and 88% of all known hydrothermal vents have been completely protected from bottom trawling. To view photographs of the trawled coral visit: www.beehive.govt.nz/release/accidental+catch+deepwater+coral

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