Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Assessment of the benthic environment following offshore placer gold mining in the northeastern Bering Sea

Published source details

Jewett S.C., Feder H.M. & Blanchard A. (1999) Assessment of the benthic environment following offshore placer gold mining in the northeastern Bering Sea. Marine Environmental Research, 32


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Cease or prohibit marine mining Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

A site comparison study in 1986–1993 of two sites of mixed seabed in the northeastern Bering Sea, Alaska, USA (Jewett & Blanchard 1999) found that ceasing gold mining at a site led to invertebrate community composition, biomass, abundance, taxa richness and diversity becoming similar to that of an unmined site, after three to five years depending on the sediment type. Community composition at the mined site had become more similar to that of the unmined site after four to five years in sandy sediments, and three years in cobbly sediments (presented as graphical analyses). In sands, invertebrate biomasses were similar to unmined sites after four years, and abundances, number of taxa and diversities were similar after five years (richness mined: 27, unmined: 33; see study for biomass, abundance and diversity data). In cobbles after three years, mined and unmined sites had similar invertebrate biomasses, abundances, number of taxa (mined: 29, unmined: 39), and diversities. An area was mined for gold in June–November 1986. Yearly in 1987–1991 and in 1993, one site in the mined area and one unmined site approximately 10 km away were surveyed. Each site had areas of sandy and areas of cobbly sediments. During each survey, divers collected three samples/sediment type/site using a suction sampler (0.1 m2, 10 cm depth). Invertebrates (>1 mm) were identified, counted and wet-weighed.

(Summarised by Anaëlle Lemasson)