Environmental impact of fisheries

Interactions, drivers and pressures 2016
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The impact of fisheries on the ecosystem is summarized in the chapter on Ecosystem considerations in the AFWG report (ICES 2016c), and some of the points are:

  • The demersal fisheries are mixed, and currently have largest effect on coastal cod and Sebastes norvegicus (Golden redfish) due to the poor condition of these stocks.
  • The most widespread gear is bottom trawl. Trawling has largest effect on hard bottom habitats; whereas the effects on other habitats are not clear and consistent.
  • Currently the possibility of using pelagic trawls when targeting demersal fish is explored, to avoid impact on bottom fauna and to reduce the mixture with other species. It will be mandatory to use sorting grids to avoid catches of undersized fish.
  • Fishery induced mortality (lost gillnets, contact with active fishing gears, etc.) on fish is a potential problem but not quantified at present.