Action: Limit the density of traps
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of limiting the density of traps on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Fishing can impact subtidal benthic invertebrates through species removal or habitat damage from fishing gear coming into contact with the seabed (Collie et al. 2000). Traps or pots are often used to fish for crabs or lobsters and consist of structures into which species of commercial interest enter through funnels, which encourage entry but limit escape. Trap fishery can negatively impact benthic invertebrates by accidentally catching them while in use (Öndes et al. 2017), or when they are lost or abandoned (“ghost fishing” Maselko et al. 2013). The number of traps in a given area (density of traps) could be limited to reduce local fishing effort (Acheson 1998; Miller 1976), thereby reducing the amount of unwanted catch, and overall threat to subtidal benthic invertebrates. Related evidence is summarised under “Threat: Biological resource use – Limit the number of traps per fishing vessels”. Evidence related to interventions aimed at mitigating ghost fishing is summarised under “Threat: Pollution – Use biodegradable panels in fishing pots” and “Recover lost fishing gear”.
Acheson J. (1998) Lobster trap limits: A solution to a communal action problem. Human Organization, 57, 43–52.
Collie J.S., Hall S.J., Kaiser M.J. & Poiner I.R. (2000) A quantitative analysis of fishing impacts on shelf‐sea benthos. Journal of Animal Ecology, 69, 785–798.
Maselko J., Bishop G. & Murphy P. (2013) Ghost fishing in the Southeast Alaska commercial Dungeness crab fishery. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 33, 422–431.
Miller, R.J. (1976) North American crab fisheries: regulations and their rationales. Fishery Bulletin, 74, 623–633.
Öndes F., Kaiser M.J. & Murray L.G. (2017) Fish and invertebrate by-catch in the crab pot fishery in the Isle of Man, Irish Sea. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 98, 1–13.