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Bottom trawl fishing footprints on the world's continental shelves


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Amoroso, RO, Pitcher, CR, Rijnsdorp, AD, McConnaughey, RA, Parma, AM, Suuronen, P, Eigaard, OR, Bastardie, F, Hintzen, NT, Althaus, F, Baird, SJ, Black, J, Buhl-Mortensen, L, Campbell, AB, Catarino, R, Collie, J, Cowan, JH, Durholtz, D, Engstrom, N, Fairweather, TP, Fock, HO, Ford, R, Galvez, PA, Gerritsen, H, Gongora, ME, Gonzalez, JA, Hiddink, JG, Hughes, KM, Intelmann, SS, Jenkins, C, Jonsson, P, Kainge, P, Kangas, M, Kathena, JN, Kavadas, S, Leslie, RW, Lewise, SG, Lundy, M, Makin, D, Martin, J, Mazor, T, Gonzalez-Mirelis, G, Newman, SJ, Papadopoulou, N, Posen, PE, Rochester, W, Russo, T, Sala, A, Semmens, JM ORCID: 0000-0003-1742-6692, Silva, C, Tsoloso, A, Vanelslander, B, Wakefield, CB, Wood, BA, Hilborn, R, Kaiser, MJ and Jennings, S 2018 , 'Bottom trawl fishing footprints on the world's continental shelves' , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 115, no. 43 , E10275-E10282 , doi: 10.1073/pnas.1802379115.

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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.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators: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
Keywords: fisheries, effort, footprint, habitat, seabed
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher: Natl Acad Sciences
ISSN: 0027-8424
DOI / ID Number: 10.1073/pnas.1802379115
Copyright Information:

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

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