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Global analysis of response and recovery of benthic biota to fishing
Kaiser, M.J.; Clarke, K.R.; Hinz, H.; Austen, M.C.V.; Somerfield, P.J.; Karakakkis, I. (2006). Global analysis of response and recovery of benthic biota to fishing. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 311: 1-14
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630; e-ISSN 1616-1599, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Aquatic communities > Benthos
    Beam trawlers
    Fisheries > Shellfish fisheries > Mollusc fisheries > Scallop fisheries
    Man-induced effects
    Otter trawlers
Author keywords
    Fishing impacts · Towed gears · Benthic habitats · Feeding guilds · Meta-analysis · Recovery time

Authors  Top 
  • Kaiser, M.J., more
  • Clarke, K.R.
  • Hinz, H., more
  • Austen, M.C.V.
  • Somerfield, P.J., more
  • Karakakkis, I.

    Towed bottom-fishing gears are thought to constitute one of the largest global anthropogenic sources of disturbance to the seabed and its biota. The current drive towards an ecosystem approach in fisheries management requires a consideration of the implications of habitat deterioration and an understanding of the potential for restoration. We undertook a meta-analysis of 101 different fishing impact manipulations. The direct effects of different types of fishing gear were strongly habitat-specific. The most severe impact occurred in biogenic habitats in response to scallop-dredging. Analysis of the response of different feeding guilds to disturbance from fishing revealed that both deposit- and suspension-feeders were consistently vulnerable to scallop dredging across gravel, sand and mud habitats, while the response of these groups to beam-trawling was highly dependent upon habitat type. The biota of soft-sediment habitats, in particular muddy sands, were surprisingly vulnerable, with predicted recovery times measured in years. Slow-growing large-biomass biota such as sponges and soft corals took much longer to recover (up to 8 yr) than biota with shorter life-spans such as polychaetes (<1 yr). The results give a possible basis for predicting the outcome of the use of different fishing gears in a variety of habitats with potential utility in a management context.

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