The impact of trawl fishery on the epifauna of the southern North Sea.

Rumohr, Heye and Kujawski, Thomas (2000) The impact of trawl fishery on the epifauna of the southern North Sea. Open Access ICES Journal of Marine Science, 57 . pp. 1389-1394. DOI 10.1006/jmsc.2000.0930.

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Qualitative historical benthos data (1902–1912) were compared with recent data (1986) to find long-term trends in epifauna species composition in the southern North Sea that may be attributed to fishery-induced changes. In general, the frequency of occurrence of bivalve species declined, whereas scavenger and predator species (crustaceans, gastropods, and sea stars) were observed more frequently in 1986. We suggest that these shifts can be attributed not only to the physical fishery impact, but also to the additional potential food for scavenging and predator species provided by the large amounts of discards and moribund benthos. Our findings are put into the perspective of the general development of the demersal fishery in the southern North Sea. Despite the problems with the historical data set, the comparison presented may be the best illustration achievable of the changes in the benthos from a near-pristine situation to the present conditions after long-term disturbance.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: benthic epifauna, historical data, impact trawl fishery, North Sea
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology
OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1006/jmsc.2000.0930
ISSN: 1054-3139
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 19:00

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