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 Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>