Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat

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National Academies Press, Jul 9, 2002 - Science - 136 pages
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Concerns over the potential ecological effects of fishing have increased with the expansion of fisheries throughout the marine waters of the United States. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat describes how assessment of fishing impacts depends on gear type, number and location of bottom tows, and the physical and biological characteristics of seafloor habitats. Many experimental studies have documented acute, gear--specific effects of trawling and dredging on various types of habitat. These studies indicate that low mobility, long--lived species are more vulnerable to towed fishing gear than short--lived species in areas where the seabed is often disturbed by natural phenomena. Trawling and dredging may also change the composition and productivity of fish communities dependent on seafloor habitats for food and refuge. The scale of these impacts depends on the level of fishing effort. This volume presents color maps of fishing effort for all regions with significant bottom trawl or dredge fisheries -- the first time that such data has been assembled and analyzed for the entire nation.

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