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  • Estimating the sustainability of towed fishing-gear impacts on seabed habitats: a simple quantitative risk assessment method applicable to data-limited fisheries

    Pitcher, C.R.; Ellis, Nick; Jennings, Simon; Hiddink, Jan G.; Mazor, Tessa; Kaiser, Michel J.; Kangas, Mervi I.; Mcconnaughey, Robert A.; Parma, Ana M.; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D.; Suuronen, Petri; Collie, Jeremy S.; Amoroso, Ricardo; Hughes, Kathryn M.; Hilborn, Ray;... (2017)
    Projects: EC | BENTHIS (312088)
    1. Impacts of bottom fishing, particularly trawling and dredging, on seabed (benthic) habitats are commonly perceived to pose serious environmental risks. Quantitative ecological risk assessment can be used to evaluate actual risks and to help guide the choice of management measures needed to meet sustainability objectives. 2. We develop and apply a quantitative method for assessing the risks to benthic habitats by towed bottom-fishing gears. The meth od is based on a simple eq uation for relat...

    Benthis. Final Report

    Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D.; Eigaard, Ole R.; Kenny, Andrew; Hiddink, Jan Geert; Hamon, Katell; Piet, Gerjan; Sala, Antonello; Nielsen, Rasmus; Polet, Hans; Laffargue, Pascal; Zengin, Mustafa; Gregerson, Olavur (2017)
    Projects: EC | BENTHIS (312088)
    BENTHIS developed the scientific basis to quantify the impact of bottom trawling on the seafloor and the benthic ecosystem. Based on insight in how fishing gear affects the seafloor, an assessment framework was developed that provide indicators of impact and seafloor status on a continuous scale that can be applied in the context of the MSFD. The mechanistic approach allows us to set reference values of impact (status) to estimate the proportion of a region or habitat where the impact is belo...

    Pulse trawl fishing: characteristics of the electrical stimulation and the effect on behaviour and injuries of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

    Haan, de, D.; Fosseidengen, J.E.; Fjelldal, P.G.; Burggraaf, D.; Rijnsdorp, A.D. (2016)
    Projects: EC | BENTHIS (312088)
    In the North Sea flatfish fishery, electric pulse trawls have been introduced to replace the conventional mechanical method. Pulse trawls reduce the fuel consumption, reduce adverse impact on the ecosystem but cause injuries in gadoids. We describe the design and electrical properties of pulse trawls currently in use and study the behavioural response and injuries in cod exposed to electrical pulses under controlled conditions. Pulse trawls operate at an average power of 0.7 kW m−1 beam lengt...

    Influence of bottom trawling on sediment resuspension in the 'Grande-Vasière' area (Bay of Biscay, France)

    Mengual, Baptiste; Cayocca, Florence; Le Hir, Pierre; Draye, Robin; Laffargue, Pascal; Vincent, Benoit; Garlan, Thierry (2016)
    Projects: EC | BENTHIS (312088)
    Sea trials were performed on two zones with different fishing efforts on the continental shelf of the Bay of Biscay ('Grande-VasiSre' area of muddy sand) in order to assess particulate matter resuspension and seabed disturbances (i.e., penetration, reworking, grain size changes) induced by different types of trawls. Optical and acoustic measurements made in the water column indicate a significant trawling-induced resuspension mainly due to the scraping action of doors. It manifests as a highl...

    Effects of beam and pulse trawling on the benthic ecosystem

    Teal, L.R.; Depestele, J.; O'Neill, B.; Craeymeersch, J.A.M.; Denderen, van, P.D.; Parker, R.; Perdon, K.J.; Polet, H.; Rasenberg, M.M.M.; Vanelslander, B.; Rijnsdorp, A.D. (2014)
    Projects: EC | BENTHIS (312088)
    Here we study the effects of fishing trawl gear on the seabed and benthic organisms. A BACI-design experiment was used to examine the effects of a traditional beam trawl gear and the pulse trawl gear. The pulse trawl gear is gaining popularity amongst Dutch fishers in recent years due to reduced fuel costs and good sole catches.The research was carried out in the northern part of the Dutch Voordelta (southern North Sea coastal zone area, 15 – 22m deep, sandy habitat) in June 2013. In this exp...

    Towards a framework for the quantitative assessment of trawling impact on the seabed and benthic ecosystem

    Rijnsdorp, A.; Bastardie, F.; Bolam, S.; Buhl-Mortensen, L.; Eigaard, O.; Hamon, K.; Hiddink, J.; Hintzen, N.; Ivanovic, A.; Kenny, A.; Laffargue, P.; Nielsen, J.; O'Neill, F.; Piet, G.; Polet, H.;... (2016)
    Projects: EC | BENTHIS (312088)
    A framework to assess the impact of mobile fishing gear on the seabed and benthic ecosystem is presented. The framework that can be used at regional and local scales provides indicators for both trawling pressure and ecological impact. It builds on high-resolution maps of trawling intensity and considers the physical effects of trawl gears on the seabed, on marine taxa, and on the functioning of the benthic ecosystem. Within the framework, a reductionist approach is applied that breaks down a...

    Prioritization of knowledge-needs to achieve best practices for bottom trawling in relation to seabed habitats

    Kaiser, M.; Hilborn, Ray; Jennings, Simon; Rijnsdorp, A.D. (2016)
    Projects: EC | BENTHIS (312088)
    Management and technical approaches that achieve a sustainable level of fish production while at the same time minimizing or limiting the wider ecological effects caused through fishing gear contact with the seabed might be considered to be ‘best practice’. To identify future knowledge-needs that would help to support a transition towards the adoption of best practices for trawling, a prioritization exercise was undertaken with a group of 39 practitioners from the seafood industry and managem...

    Benthic impact of fisheries in European waters: the distribution and intensity of bottom trawling

    Eigaard, Ole R.; Bastardie, Francois; Hintzen, Niels; Buhl-mortensen, Lene; Buhl-mortensen, Pål; Catarino, Rui; Dinesen, Grete E.; Fock, Heino; Geitner, Kerstin; Gerritsen, Hans; Gonzalez, Manuel M.; Jonsson, Patrik; Kavadas, Stefanos; Laffargue, Pascal; Lundy, Mathieu;... (2015)
    Projects: EC | BENTHIS (312088)
    Mapping and monitoring of pressure from fishery on the marine benthic environment is necessary to support an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM). In many cases this need is not reflected in official fisheries statistics and logbooks, where focus typically is on catch rather than effort. Consequently, most logbook information is not well suited for quantitative estimation of seafloor impact (swept area and impact severity) of the different gears and trips. We developed a method t...
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