January 15, 2022, Netherlands – A global study of the effects of seabed fishing shows that the seabed thrives where fisheries are sustainably managed. Seabed fishing accounts for a quarter of the world’s fish catch. Read more below in an article by Nederlandse Vissersbond.
The study, conducted by the British Bangor University, is the first of its kind. At the beginning of this year, the research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS w/c 3.1.22). The study is based on an international collaboration that collected data from 24 regions around the world to establish a relationship between the distribution and intensity of bottom fishing activities and the health of the seabed.
Only 1.5% of areas were affected by bottom fishing.
Bangor University researchers rated the state of the seafloor and marine organisms on a scale from 1 (unaffected) to 0 (completely affected). Among the 24 areas surveyed, 15 are in very good condition with a state score above 0.9, while three areas have a lower seafloor with a state score below 0.7. Of all the areas surveyed, only 1.5% were in very poor condition and had a status score of 0. The North Sea had a score of 0.824.
The study results also show that good fisheries management contributes to the health of the seabed. Areas with a status score of 0.95 or more are also areas where sustainable fishing is effectively managed. On the other hand, low grade areas are those where fish stocks tend to be overfished and where there is an ineffective monitoring and management system.
Criticism of bottom fishing
The research report challenges the claim of some green NGOs that bottom fishing is destroying biodiversity and the seabed. In addition, this study shows that statements made by NGOs about the need for a European ban on bottom fishing are not based on facts. Earlier this week, a European consultation was held in which it was decided that all European fisheries organizations will unite against the continued criticism of bottom fishing. More information about this consultation can be read in English vissersbond.nl.
Full investigation report on the PNAS website.
for more information
Contact the Nederlandse Vissersbond / PO Delta Zuid team and ask for Ben Scholten at 0527-698151 or [email protected]