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Trawlers threaten Australian blobfish

Jan. 26, 2010 at 10:41 AM   |   Comments

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SYDNEY, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The gelatinous blobfish is at risk of extinction from fishing trawlers that drag the ocean floors off southeastern Australia, a marine scientist said.

The blobfish is an inedible creature found nowhere else in the world. It grows to a foot long and lives as deep as a half-mile under the ocean's surface.

"The Australian and New Zealand deep trawling fishing fleets are some of the most active in the world so if you are a blobfish then it is not a good place to be, said Callum Roberts of England's University of York and author of the "The Unnatural History of the Sea."

Much of the Earth's deep sea is threatened by bottom trawling, which is one of the most destructive forms of fishing, Roberts told The Daily Telegraph in a story published Tuesday.

"We've been overfishing areas up to about (650 feet) deep and now we have moved off those continental shelves and into the deep sea in areas" more than a mile deep, he said.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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