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Bottom trawl fishing footprints on the world’s continental shelves
Amoroso, R.O.; Pitcher, C.R.; Rijnsdorp, A.D.; McConnaughey, R.A.; Parma, A.M.; Suuronen, P.; Eigaard, O.R.; Bastardie, F.; Hintzen, N.T.; Althaus, F.; Baird, S.J.; Black, J.; Buhl-Mortensen, L.; Campbell, A.B.; Catarino, R.; Collie, J.S.; Cowan Jr., J.H.; Durholtz, D.; Engstrom, N.; Fairweather, T.P.; Fock, H.O.; Ford, R.; Gálvez, P.A.; Gerritsen, H.D.; Góngora, M.E.; González, J.A.; Hiddink, J.G.; Hughes, K.M.; Intelmann, S.S.; Jenkins, C.J.; Jonsson, P.; Kainge, P.; Kangas, M.I.; Kathena, J.N.; Kavadas, S.; Leslie, R.W.; Lewis, S.G.; Lundy, M.; Makin, D.; Martin, J.; Mazor, T.; Gonzalez-Mirelis, G.; Newman, S.J.; Papadopoulou, N.; Posen, P.; Rochester, W.; Russo, T.; Sala, A.; Semmens, J.M.; Silva, C.; Tsolos, A.; Vanelslander, B; Wakefield, C.B.; Wood, B.A.; Hilborn, R.; Kaiser, M.J.; Jennings, S. (2018). Bottom trawl fishing footprints on the world’s continental shelves. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 115(43): E10275-E10282.
In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The Academy: Washington, D.C.. ISSN 0027-8424; e-ISSN 1091-6490, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    fisheries; effort; footprint; habitat; seabed

Authors  Top 
  • Amoroso, R.O.
  • Pitcher, C.R.
  • Rijnsdorp, A.D., more
  • McConnaughey, R.A.
  • Parma, A.M.
  • Suuronen, P.
  • Eigaard, O.R.
  • Bastardie, F.
  • Hintzen, N.T., more
  • Althaus, F.
  • Baird, S.J.
  • Black, J.
  • Buhl-Mortensen, L.
  • Campbell, A.B.
  • Catarino, R.
  • Collie, J.S.
  • Cowan Jr., J.H.
  • Durholtz, D.
  • Engstrom, N.
  • Fairweather, T.P.
  • Fock, H.O.
  • Ford, R.
  • Gálvez, P.A.
  • Gerritsen, H.D.
  • Góngora, M.E.
  • González, J.A.
  • Hiddink, J.G., more
  • Hughes, K.M.
  • Intelmann, S.S.
  • Jenkins, C.J.
  • Jonsson, P.
  • Kainge, P.
  • Kangas, M.I.
  • Kathena, J.N.
  • Kavadas, S.
  • Leslie, R.W.
  • Lewis, S.G.
  • Lundy, M.
  • Makin, D.
  • Martin, J.
  • Mazor, T.
  • Gonzalez-Mirelis, G.
  • Newman, S.J.
  • Papadopoulou, N.
  • Posen, P.
  • Rochester, W.
  • Russo, T.
  • Sala, A.
  • Semmens, J.M.
  • Silva, C.
  • Tsolos, A.
  • Vanelslander, B, more
  • Wakefield, C.B.
  • Wood, B.A.
  • Hilborn, R.
  • Kaiser, M.J., more
  • Jennings, S.

    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.

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