High-resolution mapping of European fishing pressure on the benthic habitats

Ole Ritzau Eigaard, Francois Bastardie, Niels T. Hintzen, Maciej Adamowicj, Rui Catarino, Grete E. Dinesen, Heino Fock, Hans Gerritsen, Manuel M. Gonzales, Patrik Jonsson, Stefanos Kavadas, Pascal Lafargue, Mathieu Lundy, Genoveva G. Mirelis, Jørgen Hansen, Paulette Posen, Jacopo Pulcinella, Tomasso Russo, Antonello Sala, Chris SmithBart Vanelslander, Mustafa Zengin, J. Rasmus Nielsen, Adriaan D. Rijnsdorp

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


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 present a method to overcome this information deficiency of official statistics and develop high-resolution large-scale maps of benthic fishing pressure covering the EU, Norwegian and Turkish waters. First individual logbook observations from 13 countries were assigned to 17 different functional gear groups (métiers) based on target species and gear type information. Secondly, relationships between gear width and vessel
size (e.g. trawl door spread and vessel kW) for each métier were used to assign quantitative information of bottom contact to each logbook trip by translating vessel size information into measures of gear size. Thirdly the extended logbook data was merged with highresolution activity data (VMS) and gear width estimates were assigned to individual interpolated vessel tracks based on VMS data. The outcome was European wide highresolution fishing intensity maps (total yearly swept area within grid cells of 1*1 minutes longitude and latitude) for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Finally the high-resolution fishing pressure maps were overlaid with existing marine habitat maps to identify areas of potential
ecosystem service conflicts
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventICES Symposium 2014: Effects of fishing on benthic fauna, habitat and ecosystem function - Tromsø, Norway
Duration: 16 Jun 201419 Jun 2014


ConferenceICES Symposium 2014


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