Words by Abi Scaife
Outdoor apparel company Patagonia has made headlines over and over for its dedication to the environment. Now, they are even more determined to make lasting, impactful changes with their brand-new campaign.
On World Oceans Day 2023, Patagonia launched their ‘Protect Our Ocean’ campaign, in an effort to end bottom trawling.
Bottom trawling is a form of fishing that, just like it sounds, involves dragging a net along the bottom of the ocean. It became popular because you can collect such a larger volume of fish at one time - but this has so many unfortunate consequences.
For a start, it undermines small-scale fisheries that can’t afford to keep up with larger operations - but even more significantly, the trawling destroys important ecosystems at the bottom of the ocean and contributes heavily to the climate crisis.
That’s why Patagonia’s campaign is focusing on ending bottom trawling, by asking people to sign this petition to EU governments.
The petition outlines ways that bottom trawling is negatively impacting people and our planet. It asks governments to put an immediate ban on bottom trawling in coastal zones and Marine Protected Areas.
Bottom trawling is, unfortunately, even more prevalent in these Marine Protected Areas and coastal zones - which is why Patagonia is so keen to call for an immediate ban, and further protection in these areas.
Why are the oceans a big part of climate change?
Oceans are a huge part of our climate and have as much of an impact on climate change as climate change does on the oceans. To cut a long story short - the happier our oceans are, the more we can reduce the impact of climate change.
Bottom trawling also has a huge impact on the climate crisis - dragging nets along the seabed uses more fuel and produces four times more emissions than other types of fishing. Plus, the coral and ocean sediments that absorb carbon dioxide become disturbed, leading to even more carbon being released into the atmosphere.
And, as our oceans absorb a quarter of the carbon dioxide we produce, reducing our emissions and protecting this wonderful resource is more important than ever.
What is the campaign doing?
Patagonia’s campaign is encouraging people to sign a petition against bottom trawling that will go to EU leaders. The petition asks leaders to improve protections, including an immediate and firm blanket ban on bottom trawling in protected areas, committing to protecting our oceans from further harm.
If you’re interested in learning more about Patagonia's work to protect our oceans, or you want to sign the petition, you can visit this campaign link.
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
Blue Marine Foundation. A charity dedicated to restoring the ocean to health by addressing overfishing, one of the world's biggest environmental problems. Support them here.
The Ocean Conservation Trust. A charity of Ocean optimists taking action to protect and restore nature for a thriving Ocean. Find out more here.
Marine Conservation Society. This charity is fighting for a cleaner, better protected, healthier ocean: one we can all enjoy. Learn more here.