National Research Council Study on the Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat
John Steele, Susan J. Roberts, Dayton L. Alverson, Peter Auster, Jeremy Collie, Joseph T. DeAlteris, Linda Deegan, Elva Escobar Briones, Stephen J. Hall, Gordon H. Kruse, Caroline Pomeroy, Kathryn M. Scanlon, and Priscilla Weeks
Abstract. This paper summarizes the results of the National Research Council Study on the Effects of Bottom Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat (National Research Council 2002). The report concludes that integration of existing data on the effects of trawls and dredges, level of fishing effort, and distribution of seafloor habitats would facilitate development of habitat management plans. Current and new management measures should be assessed regularly to provide a better understanding of how various restrictions affect fish habitat and to determine the socioeconomic impacts on the fishing industry and local communities. Resolution of the different, and at times conflicting, ecological and socioeconomic goals will require not only a better understanding of the relevant ecosystems and fisheries but also more effective interaction among stakeholders.