Actions
  • shareshare
  • link
  • cite
  • add
add
auto_awesome_motion View all 6 versions
Publication . Article . 2018

Bottom trawl fishing footprints on the world’s continental shelves

Ricardo O. Amoroso; C. Roland Pitcher; Adriaan D. Rijnsdorp; Robert A. McConnaughey; Ana M. Parma; Petri Suuronen; Ole Ritzau Eigaard; +50 Authors
Open Access
English
Abstract

Bottom trawlers land around 19 million tons of fish and invertebrates annually, almost one-quarter of wild marine landings. The extent of bottom trawling footprint (seabed area trawled at least once in a specified region and time period) is often contested but poorly described. We quantify footprints using high-resolution satellite vessel monitoring system (VMS) and logbook data on 24 continental shelves and slopes to 1,000-m depth over at least 2 years. Trawling footprint varied markedly among regions: from 50% in some European seas. Overall, 14% of the 7.8 million-km2 study area was trawled, and 86% was not trawled. Trawling activity was aggregated; the most intensively trawled areas accounting for 90% of activity comprised 77% of footprint on average. Regional swept area ratio (SAR; ratio of total swept area trawled annually to total area of region, a metric of trawling intensity) and footprint area were related, providing an approach to estimate regional trawling footprints when high-resolution spatial data are unavailable. If SAR was ≤0.1, as in 8 of 24 regions, there was >95% probability that >90% of seabed was not trawled. If SAR was 7.9, equal to the highest SAR recorded, there was >95% probability that >70% of seabed was trawled. Footprints were smaller and SAR was ≤0.25 in regions where fishing rates consistently met international sustainability benchmarks for fish stocks, implying collateral environmental benefits from sustainable fishing.

Significance We conducted a systematic, high-resolution analysis of bottom trawl fishing footprints for 24 regions on continental shelves and slopes of five continents and New Zealand. The proportion of seabed trawled varied >200-fold among regions (from 0.4 to 80.7% of area to a depth of 1,000 m). Within 18 regions, more than two-thirds of seabed area remained untrawled during study periods of 2–6 years. Relationships between metrics of total trawling activity and footprint were strong and positive, providing a method to estimate trawling footprints for regions where high-resolution data are not available. Trawling footprints were generally smaller in regions where fisheries met targets for exploitation rates, implying collateral environmental benefits of effective fisheries management.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Seabed Bottom trawling Trawling Continental shelf geography.geographical_feature_category geography Fishery Fish stock Fishing Vessel monitoring system Environmental science Footprint

Subjects

WIAS, Onderzoeksformatie, Effort, Fisheries, Footprint, Habitat, Seabed, effort, fisheries, footprint, habitat, seabed, /dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/life_below_water, SDG 14 - Life Below Water, Multidisciplinary, fisheries; effort; footprint; habitat; seabed, 9, PNAS Plus, Biological Sciences, Sustainability Science

60 references, page 1 of 6

Watling, W, Norse, EA. Disturbance of the seabed by mobile fishing gear: A comparison to forest clear cutting. Conserv Biol. 1998; 12: 1180-1197 [OpenAIRE]

Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. 2002

Kaiser, MJ. Prioritization of knowledge-needs to achieve best practices for bottom trawling in relation to seabed habitats. Fish Fish. 2016; 17: 637-663

Piet, GJ, Hintzen, NT. Indicators of fishing pressure and seabed integrity. ICES J Mar Sci. 2012; 69: 1850-1858 [OpenAIRE]

Gerritsen, HD, Minto, C, Lordan, C. How much of the seabed is impacted by mobile fishing gear? Absolute estimates from Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) point data. ICES J Mar Sci. 2013; 70: 523-531 [OpenAIRE]

Kaiser, MJ, Collie, JS, Hall, SJ, Jennings, S, Poiner, IR. Modification of marine habitats by trawling activities: Prognosis and solutions. Fish Fish. 2002; 3: 114-136

Fock, H. Fisheries in the context of marine spatial planning: Defining principal areas for fisheries in the German EEZ. Mar Policy. 2008; 32: 728-739 [OpenAIRE]

Churchill, JH. The effect of commercial trawling on sediment resuspension and transport over the Middle Atlantic Bight continental shelf. Cont Shelf Res. 1989; 9: 841-864

Bastardie, F. Spatial planning for fisheries in the Northern Adriatic: Working toward viable and sustainable fishing. Ecosphere. 2017; 8: e01696

Edser, T. A short account of the statistics of the sea fisheries of England and Wales. Rapp P-V Reun Cons Int Explor Mer. 1925; 36: 2-25

Funded by
EC| BENTHIS
Project
BENTHIS
Benthic ecosystem fisheries Impact Study
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 312088
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP1 | KBBE
Related to Research communities
European Marine Science Marine Environmental Science : Benthic ecosystem fisheries Impact Study
moresidebar