Study

Benthic community response to a scallop dredging closure within a dynamic seabed habitat

  • Published source details Sciberras M., Hinz H., Bennell J., Jenkins S., Hawkins S. & Kaiser M. (2013) Benthic community response to a scallop dredging closure within a dynamic seabed habitat. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 480, 83-98

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit the harvesting of scallops

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Cease or prohibit dredging

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit the harvesting of scallops

    A before-and-after, site comparison study 2009–2011 in two areas of sandy, pebbly and gravelly seabed in Cardigan Bay, Irish Sea, Wales, UK (Sciberras et al. 2014) found that two years after prohibiting commercial scallop dredging year-round in an area, abundances of king scallop Pecten maximus and queen scallop Aequipecten opercularis had not increased and remained similar to that of an adjacent seasonally dredged area. Abundances of king and queen scallops were similar between closed and fished areas both before (king: closed 0.9 vs fished 0.8; queen: 0.2 vs 0.7 individuals/m2) and two years after closure (king: 0.3 vs 0.3; queen: 0.2 vs 0.7 individuals/m2). Two areas of Cardigan Bay were assessed: one permanently closed to scallop dredging in March 2010, and the other seasonally closed to scallop dredging (May to October). Surveys were conducted before closure (December 2009) and three times after (June 2010 to April 2011). During each survey, a camera was towed for 300 m at six sites/area (at 30 m depth). More than 40 images/camera tow (covering a 0.13 m2 area of seabed) were analysed, and scallops were identified and counted.

  2. Cease or prohibit dredging

    A before-and-after, site comparison study 2009–2011 in two areas of sandy, pebbly and gravelly seabed in Cardigan Bay, Irish Sea, Wales, UK (Sciberras et al. 2013) found that in an area prohibiting commercial scallop dredging year-round, sessile invertebrate community composition, diversity, species richness, and abundance were similar to that of an adjacent seasonally dredged area, after two years. Invertebrate community composition (presented as graphical analyses), diversity (presented as a diversity index), species richness, and abundance, were similar between closed and fished areas both before (richness: closed 7 vs fished 4 species/tow; abundance: 3 vs 3 individuals/m2) and two years after closure (richness: 15 vs 13 species/tow; abundance: 23 vs 7 individuals/m2). Richness, diversity, abundance and assemblage composition changed in a similar manner over time in the closed and fished areas. Two areas of Cardigan Bay were assessed: one permanently closed to scallop dredging in March 2010, another seasonally closed to scallop dredging (May to October). Surveys were conducted before closure (December 2009) and three times after (June 2010 to April 2011). During each survey, a camera was towed behind a boat at 30 m depth for 300 m at six sites/area. More than 40 images/camera tow (covering a 0.13 m2 area of seabed) were analysed, and sessile invertebrates were identified and counted.

Output references

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