Bottom trawl fishing footprints on the world's continental shelves

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review

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  • Author: Amoroso, Ricardo O.

    University of Washington, United States

  • Author: Pitcher, Roland C.

    CSIRO, Australia

  • Author: Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D.

    Wageningen IMARES, Netherlands

  • Author: McConnaughey, Robert A.

    NOAA, United States

  • Author: Parma, Ana M.

    The National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina

  • Author: Suuronen, Petri

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Italy

  • Author: Eigaard, Ole Ritzau

    Technical University of Denmark

    Section for Ecosystem based Marine Management, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Bastardie, Francois

    Technical University of Denmark

    Section for Ecosystem based Marine Management, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Hintzen, Niels T.

    Wageningen IMARES, Netherlands

  • Author: Althaus, Franziska

    CSIRO, Australia

  • Author: Baird, Susan Jane

  • Author: Black, Jenny

  • Author: Buhl-Mortensen, Lene

    Institute of Marine Research, Norway

  • Author: Campbell, Alexander B.

    University of Queensland, Australia

  • Author: Catarino, Rui

    Marine Scotland Science, United Kingdom

  • Author: Collie, Jeremy

    University of Rhode Island, United States

  • Author: Cowan, James H.

    Louisiana State University, United States

  • Author: Durholtz, Deon

    Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Republic of South Africa, South Africa

  • Author: Engstrom, Nadia

    Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australia

  • Author: Fairweather, Tracey P.

    Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Republic of South Africa, South Africa

  • Author: Fock, Heino O.

    Thunen-Institut, Germany

  • Author: Ford, Richard

    Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand

  • Author: Gálvez, Patricio A.

    Insitituto de Fomento Pesquero, Chile

  • Author: Gerritsen, Hans

    Marine Institute, Ireland

  • Author: Góngora, María Eva

    Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, Argentina

  • Author: González, Jessica A.

    Insitituto de Fomento Pesquero, Chile

  • Author: Hiddink, Jan Geert

    Bangor University, United Kingdom

  • Author: Hughes, Kathryn M.

    Bangor University, United Kingdom

  • Author: Intelmann, Steven S.

    NOAA, United States

  • Author: Jenkins, Chris

    University of Colorado Boulder, United States

  • Author: Jonsson, Patrik

    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

  • Author: Kainge, Paulus Inekela

    Section for Monitoring and Data, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Willemoesvej 2, 9850, Hirtshals, Denmark

  • Author: Kangas, Mervi

    Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Government of Western Australia, Australia

  • Author: Kathena, Johannes N.

    Section for Marine Living Resources, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Kavadas, Stefanos

    Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece

  • Author: Leslie, Rob W.

    Department for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa

  • Author: Lewis, Steve G.

    NOAA, United States

  • Author: Lundy, Mathieu

    Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, United Kingdom

  • Author: Makin, David

    Department of Primary Industries, Queensland , Australia

  • Author: Martin, Julie

  • Author: Mazor, Tessa

    CSIRO, Australia

  • Author: Gonzalez-Mirelis, Genoveva

    Institute of Marine Research, Norway

  • Author: Newman, Stephen J

  • Author: Papadopoulou, Nadia

    Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece

  • Author: Posen, Paulette E.

    Cefas Weymouth Laboratory, United Kingdom

  • Author: Rochester, Wayne

    CSIRO, Australia

  • Author: Russo, Tommaso

    University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy

  • Author: Sala, Antonello

    Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy

  • Author: Semmens, Jayson M

    University of Tasmania, Australia

  • Author: Silva, Cristina

    Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, Portugal

  • Author: Tsolos, Angelo

    South Australian Research and Development Institute, Australia

  • Author: Vanelslander, Bart

    Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Belgium

  • Author: Wakefield, Corey B.

  • Author: Wood, Brent A.

    NIWA, New Zealand

  • Author: Hilborn, Ray

    University of Washington, United States

  • Author: Kaiser, Michel J.

    Bangor University

  • Author: Jennings, Simon

    International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

    Section for Ecosystem based Marine Management, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume115
Issue number43
Pages (from-to)E10275-E10282
ISSN0027-8424
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • effort, fisheries, footprint, habitat, seabed

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