Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fishing gear fallout

12.12.2003


Comparing ecological impacts of fishing gears



Sea turtles, starfish, dolphins, and seabirds are routinely caught and killed or injured in fishing gears aiming to catch other marine life bound for human consumption. This so-called bycatch can outweigh the actual target species by as much as 20 times. In addition, fishing gears inflict damage to corals and other seafloor habitats. "Shifting gears: assessing collateral impacts of fishing methods in US waters," which appears in this month’s issue of the Ecological Society of America’s journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, ranks the ten most commonly used fishing gears in the United States by their ecological impacts.

Integrating the knowledge and judgment of fisheries scientists and fishers to assess the relative ecological severity of various fishing gears, the authors found that bottom gears--such as dredges and trawls--as well as midwater gillnets, inflict the highest level of damage to habitat and marine vertebrates and invertebrates.


"Our analysis suggests that because of their severe impact, mobile bottom gears and midwater gillnets should not be used at all, or only minimally in ecologically sensitive areas," say the authors.

The team of authors consisted of Ratana Chuenpagdee of St. Francis Xavier University; Lance Morgan, Sara Maxwell, and Elliott Norse of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute; and Daniel Pauly of the University of British Columbia. The group used previously compiled fishing gear impact ratings to develop a questionnaire composed of a series of pair-wise scenarios (binary choices). Randomly selected participants chosen from the fishing industry, fisheries scientists and managers, and those representing the marine conservation communities completed the survey.

The group found that pots, traps, and pelagic and bottom longlines caused moderate ecological damage, and that midwater trawls, purse seines, and hook and line gears had the lowest bycatch and habitat impacts. The severity ranking of the different gears could form the basis for fisheries policies, ranging from the urgent introduction of stringent policies for high impact gears to less stringent controls for methods causing relatively little damage. The article also highlights how shifting to low impact gears can be linked to incentives, allowing fishermen to maintain high economic returns.

"As fisheries managers grapple with ecosystem based management, this report offers them a consensus view on gear impacts and suggests that addressing these ecological impacts is one avenue towards achieving this goal," state the researchers.


###
Frontiers’ December issue marks the end of the first year of this latest ESA publication, which the Society launched in February 2003. International in scope and interdisciplinary in approach, the journal (www.frontiersinecology.org) emphasizes practical applications and new approaches to old problems, addressing global environmental issues, cross disciplinary efforts, and new technologies. Its many features--ranging from guest editorials and multi-author debates, to synthetic reviews, short research communications, and columns--have made the newest ESA journal accessible to researchers, resource managers, educators, and policy makers. December’s issue includes a useful index of topics covered in all ten Frontiers issues, including the ecological effects of dam removal, bioinvasions and bioterrorism, bioprospecting strategies for drug discovery, impacts of forest fires in national parks, and the effects of global warming on pest species.

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a scientific, non-profit, 7,800-member organization founded in 1915. Through ESA reports, journals, membership research, and expert testimony to Congress, ESA seeks to promote the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. ESA publishes four scientific, peer-reviewed journals: Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. More information is available at ESA’s web site: http://www.esa.org.

Nadine Lymn | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.org
http://www.frontiersinecology.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>