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 Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>