Study

Implications of a zoned fishery management system for marine benthic communities

  • Published source details Blyth R.E., Kaiser M.J., Edwards-Jones G. & Hart P.J. B. (2004) Implications of a zoned fishery management system for marine benthic communities. Journal of Applied Ecology, 41.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Establish temporary fisheries closures

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Cease or prohibit all towed (mobile) fishing gear

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Establish temporary fisheries closures

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2002 of five sites of mixed coarse seabed off the south Devon coast, English Channel, UK (Blyth et al. 2004) found that sites seasonally closed to towed gear did not have greater invertebrate species richness or biomass, and did not have more great scallops Pecten maximus than sites where towed-fishing occurred year-round. Seasonal and year-round sites had similar average species richness (seasonal: 10–15 vs year-round: 8–10 species/tow), average biomass (1.5–2.4 vs 0.8–1.5 kg/tow), and average abundance of great scallops (1–11 vs 0–2 scallops/tow). In 1978 a zoned fishery management system was established in a 500 km2 area, which included an area where towed-gear and static-gear rotated seasonally. In 2002, five sites were surveyed: two seasonally-towed and three towed year-round. Dredges were towed for 10 mins three times at each site (two standard dredges to collect great scallops >100 mm in length; one scientific dredge for other invertebrates). Species were identified and wet-weighed (individuals combined/species).

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson)

  2. Cease or prohibit all towed (mobile) fishing gear

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2002 of seven sites of mixed coarse seabed off the south Devon coast, English Channel, UK (Blyth et al. 2004) found that sites excluding towed gear, for either two or 24 years, had greater invertebrate species richness and biomass, different community composition, and more great scallops Pecten maximus compared to sites where towed-fishing occurred. More species were recorded at long-term untowed sites (untowed for 24 years; 16–21 species/tow) and short-term untowed sites (untowed for less than two years; 23–25 species/tow) than at towed sites (8–10 species/tow). Biomass was higher at long-term untowed sites (9.2–9.7 kg/tow) than short-term untowed sites (4.0–8.1 kg/tow); and both were higher than towed sites (0.8–1.5 kg/tow). Community composition at long- and short-term untowed sites (combined) were only 11% similar to that of towed sites. In addition, abundance of great scallops was higher at long-term untowed sites (4–53/tow) and short-term untowed sites (3–15/tow) than at towed sites (0–2/tow). In 1978 a zoned fishery management system was established in a 500 km2 area, which included a static-gear-only area. In 2002, seven sites were surveyed: two long-term untowed (static-only), two short-term untowed, and three towed sites. Dredges were towed for 10 mins three times at each site (two standard dredges to collect great scallops >100 mm in length; one scientific dredge for other invertebrates). Species were identified and wet-weighed (individuals combined per species).

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson)

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