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Bottom trawl fishing footprints on the world's continental shelves


Amoroso, RO and Pitcher, CR and Rijnsdorp, AD and McConnaughey, RA and Parma, AM and Suuronen, P and Eigaard, OR and Bastardie, F and Hintzen, NT and Althaus, F and Baird, SJ and Black, J and Buhl-Mortensen, L and Campbell, AB and Catarino, R and Collie, J and Cowan, JH and Durholtz, D and Engstrom, N and Fairweather, TP and Fock, HO and Ford, R and Galvez, PA and Gerritsen, H and Gongora, ME and Gonzalez, JA and Hiddink, JG and Hughes, KM and Intelmann, SS and Jenkins, C and Jonsson, P and Kainge, P and Kangas, M and Kathena, JN and Kavadas, S and Leslie, RW and Lewise, SG and Lundy, M and Makin, D and Martin, J and Mazor, T and Gonzalez-Mirelis, G and Newman, SJ and Papadopoulou, N and Posen, PE and Rochester, W and Russo, T and Sala, A and Semmens, JM and Silva, C and Tsoloso, A and Vanelslander, B and Wakefield, CB and Wood, BA and Hilborn, R and Kaiser, MJ and Jennings, S, Bottom trawl fishing footprints on the world's continental shelves, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115, (43) pp. E10275-E10282. ISSN 0027-8424 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1073/pnas.1802379115


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 < 10% of seabed area in Australian and New Zealand waters, the Aleutian Islands, East Bering Sea, South Chile, and Gulf of Alaska to > 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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fisheries, effort, footprint, habitat, seabed
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental assessment and monitoring
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
ID Code:131141
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:109
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2019-03-05
Last Modified:2019-05-14
Downloads:19 View Download Statistics

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