Benthic Habitats and the Effects of Fishing

Keeping Our Fisheries Sustainable

William T. Hogarth

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569605.ch2

Abstract. The topic of this symposium, effects of fishing activities on benthic habitats, is a subject charged with controversy, complexity, and socioeconomic significance. Concern about the effects of fishing comes at a time when the sustainability of fisheries and maintenance of healthy ecosystems are being questioned. Are fishing activities detrimental to habitat? When and where might they be more or less damaging? The U.S. Congress, under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, has directed us to address the issue. This symposium is one of the means by which we gain new information for future evaluation and appropriate management of fishing activities that affect benthic habitat. We also are addressing the issue through research. With the appropriate information, we will move forward together—fishers, scientists, managers, environmentalists, and other stakeholders.