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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
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Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat

Committee on Ecosystem Effects of Fishing: Phase 1—Effects of Bottom Trawling on Seafloor Habitats

Ocean Studies Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
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NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report and the committee were supported by a grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. This paper is funded in part by a contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its subagencies.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2002105183

International Standard Book Number: 0-309-08340-0

Additional copies of this report are available from:
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Engineering

Institute of Medicine

National Research Council

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr.Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
×

COMMITTEE ON ECOSYSTEM EFFECTS OF FISHING: PHASE 1—EFFECTS OF BOTTOM TRAWLING ON SEAFLOOR HABITATS

JOHN STEELE, Chair,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

DAYTON LEE ALVERSON,

Natural Resource Consultants, Seattle, Washington

PETER AUSTER,

University of Connecticut, Groton

JEREMY COLLIE,

University of Rhode Island, Narragansett

JOSEPH T. DEALTERIS,

University of Rhode Island, Kingston

LINDA DEEGAN,

Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

ELVA ESCOBAR-BRIONES,

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Cuidad Universitaria

STEPHEN J. HALL,

Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland

GORDON H. KRUSE,

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

CAROLINE POMEROY,

University of California, Santa Cruz

KATHRYN M. SCANLON,

U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

PRISCILLA WEEKS,

University of Houston, Clear Lake, Texas

Staff

SUSAN ROBERTS, Study Director

JODI BACHIM, Senior Project Assistant

ABBY SCHNEIDER, NRC Fellow

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
×

OCEAN STUDIES BOARD

NANCY RABALAIS, Chair,

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin

ARTHUR BAGGEROER,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

JAMES COLEMAN,

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

LARRY B. CROWDER,

Duke University Marine Laboratory, Beaufort, North Carolina

G. BRENT DALRYMPLE,

Oregon State University (ret.), Corvallis

RICHARD B. DERISO,

Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, La Jolla, California

EARL DOYLE,

Shell Oil (ret.), Sugar Land, Texas

ROBERT DUCE,

Texas A&M University, College Station

WAYNE R. GEYER,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

D. JAY GRIMES,

University of Southern Mississippi, Ocean Springs

MIRIAM KASTNER,

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

CINDY LEE,

State University of New York, Stony Brook

RALPH S. LEWIS,

Connecticut Geological and Natural History Survey, Hartford

BONNIE MCCAY,

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

JULIAN P. MCCREARY, JR.,

University of Hawaii, Honolulu

JACQUELINE MICHEL,

Research Planning, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina

RAM MOHAN,

Blasland, Bouck & Lee, Inc., Annapolis, Maryland

SCOTT NIXON,

University of Rhode Island, Narragansett

JON G. SUTINEN,

University of Rhode Island, Kingston

NANCY TARGETT,

University of Delaware, Lewes

PAUL TOBIN,

Xtria, LLC, Chantilly, Virginia

Staff

MORGAN GOPNIK, Director

SUSAN ROBERTS, Senior Program Officer

DAN WALKER, Senior Program Officer

JOANNE BINTZ, Program Officer

JENNIFER MERRILL, Program Officer

TERRY SCHAEFER, Program Officer

JOHN DANDELSKI, Research Associate

ROBIN MORRIS, Financial Officer

SHIREL SMITH, Administrative Associate

JODI BACHIM, Senior Project Assistant

NANCY CAPUTO, Senior Project Assistant

DENISE GREENE, Senior Project Assistant

DARLA KOENIG, Senior Project Assistant

JULIE PULLEY, Project Assistant

ALISON SCHRUM, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
×

Preface

The Ocean Studies Board has provided advice to Congress and the National Marine Fisheries Service on a broad range of topics relevant to marine fisheries. Sustaining Marine Fisheries dealt broadly with the ecological issues (National Research Council, 1999) while other reports have focused on the science of fisheries management: Review of Northeast Fishery Stock Assessments (National Research Council, 1998), Improving Fish Stock Assessments (National Research Council, 1999), and Improving the Collection, Management and Use of Marine Fisheries Data (National Research Council, 2001). Several reports have reviewed management methods including Marine Protected Areas: Tools for Sustaining Ocean Ecosystems (National Research Council, 2001) and Sharing the Fish: Toward a National Policy on Individual Fishing Quotas (National Research Council, 2000). An emergent theme in nearly all these reports is the desire to reconcile conflicting demands for protecting marine environments, sustaining fishery yields, and responding to the social and economic interests of the fishery and fishing communities. Such reconciliation must integrate scientific and technical information with the diversity of human priorities. This plurality was a central feature of our workshop meetings in Boston, Galveston, and Anchorage with representatives of the fishing industry, environmental groups and members of state and federal agencies.

Our report has benefited significantly from the presentations and discussions at these meetings. The committee would first like to acknowledge the efforts of those who gave presentations: Frank Almeida, Bill Amaru, Pam Baker, Mike Barnette, Francine Bennis, Eloise Brown, Ralph Brown, Arnie Carr, Anthony Chatwin, Jim Churchill, Felicia Coleman, Cathy Coon, Chris Dorsett, Ben Enticknap, Benny Gallaway, John Gauvin, Caroline Gibson, David Goethel, Don Gordon, Alonzo Hamilton, David Harrington, Bill Hayes, Jon Heifetz, Tom Hill, Teressa Kandianis, Rick Leard, Gary Loverich, Trevor McCabe, Linda Mercer, Chris Oliver, Mike Payne, Mark Powell, Jeff Rester, Andy Rosenberg, Brian Rothschild, Pete Sheridan, Michael Sissenwine, Nils Stolpe, Les Watling, Dave Witherell, and Chris Zeman. These talks helped set the stage for fruitful discussions in the closed sessions that followed.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in their review of this report:

ARNE CARR, Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Pocasset

FELICIA COLEMAN, Florida State University, Tallahassee

CAROLINE GIBSON, Pacific Marine Conservation Council, Friday Harbor, Washington

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
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DANIEL HUPPERT, University of Washington, Seattle

BRIAN ROTHSCHILD, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

MICHAEL SINCLAIR, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by NANCY MARCUS, Florida State University, Tallahassee, appointed by the Divison on Earth and Life Studies, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

The committee is also grateful to Andrea Dunn for compiling information about the regional fisheries that comprises Table 4.2. Jim Lester also provided important material for this report. The committee wishes to thank the staff at the Ocean Studies Board for their efforts in support of this study: Jodi Bachim, Senior Project Assistant and Abby Schneider, National Research Council Fellow. The committee is especially grateful to the Study Director Dr. Susan Roberts who not only had the task of integrating the individual contributions from committee members into a coherent report, but also guided the report through the extensive process of review and revision.

John Steele

Chair

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
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Geographic Information System,

 

36

   

Questions of Scale,

 

36

   

Distribution and Intensity of Fishing Effort,

 

37

   

Regional Fisheries,

 

39

   

New England: Maine to Connecticut,

 

39

   

Mid-Atlantic: New York to Virginia,

 

42

   

South Atlantic: North Carolina to Eastern Florida,

 

43

   

Gulf of Mexico: Western Florida to Texas,

 

44

   

Pacific: California, Oregon, and Washington,

 

44

   

North Pacific: Alaska,

 

46

   

Conclusion,

 

47

5

 

Analyzing the Risk to Seafloor Habitats

 

48

   

Framework for Decisionmaking,

 

48

   

Exposure Assessment Model,

 

49

   

Research,

 

50

   

Risk Assessment,

 

50

   

Risk Management,

 

51

   

Comparative Risk Assessment,

 

52

   

Description of Criteria,

 

53

   

Summary,

 

54

6

 

Management Options

 

57

   

Gear Modifications,

 

57

   

Closed Areas,

 

59

   

Effort Reduction,

 

61

   

Conclusion,

 

63

7

 

Findings and Recommendations

 

65

   

Recommendations,

 

66

   

Interpretation and Use of Existing Data,

 

66

   

Integration of Management Options,

 

66

   

Policy Issues Raised by Existing Legislation,

 

67

   

Future Research,

 

67

   

Gear Impacts and Modification,

 

67

   

Habitat Evaluation,

 

68

   

Management,

 

68

 

 

References

 

69

 

 

Appendixes

 

 

   

A Committee and Staff Biographies

 

77

   

B Regional Distribution of Fishing Effort

 

80

   

C Mapping Tools

 

120

   

D Workshop Agendas

 

122

   

E Acronyms

 

126

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10323.
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Concerns over the potential ecological effects of fishing have increased with the expansion of fisheries throughout the marine waters of the United States. Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat describes how assessment of fishing impacts depends on gear type, number and location of bottom tows, and the physical and biological characteristics of seafloor habitats. Many experimental studies have documented acute, gear--specific effects of trawling and dredging on various types of habitat. These studies indicate that low mobility, long--lived species are more vulnerable to towed fishing gear than short--lived species in areas where the seabed is often disturbed by natural phenomena. Trawling and dredging may also change the composition and productivity of fish communities dependent on seafloor habitats for food and refuge. The scale of these impacts depends on the level of fishing effort. This volume presents color maps of fishing effort for all regions with significant bottom trawl or dredge fisheries -- the first time that such data has been assembled and analyzed for the entire nation.

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