Fishing-gear restrictions and conservation of benthic habitat complexity

  • Published source details Kaiser M.J., Spence F.E. & Hart P.J.B. (2000) Fishing-gear restrictions and conservation of benthic habitat complexity. Conservation Biology, 14, 1512-1525.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all towed (mobile) fishing gear

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all towed (mobile) fishing gear

    A replicated, site comparison study (year not stated) in eight areas of mixed sediment off the south Devon coast, English Channel, UK (Kaiser et al. 2000) found that areas excluding towed fishing gear (for an unspecified amount of time) had different species richness, diversity and overall invertebrate community composition compared to areas where towed-fishing occurred either seasonally or year-round. Species richness and diversity data were not presented. Community composition in areas closed to towed gears was reported to be dominated by higher biomass and organisms that increased habitat complexity (community data were presented as graphical analyses). In areas where towed-fishing occurred, the community was reported to be dominated by smaller bodied fauna and scavenging taxa. In 1978 a zoned fishery management system was established in a 500 km2 area, which included static-gear-only areas. Eight areas were surveyed (year of study unspecified) at 15–70 m depth: three non-towed (static only), two seasonally-towed (six months/year), and three towed year-round. Invertebrates were sampled at nine stations/area. Invertebrates were sampled with a beam trawl and a dredge, identified, counted and weighed.

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson)

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