Benthic Habitats and the Effects of Fishing

Symposium Abstract: Impacts of Mobile Fishing Gear on Sponges and Gorgonian Corals in the Gulf of Alaska

J. L. Freese

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569605.ch90

Research carried out in deep water on the continental shelf in the eastern Gulf of Alaska (GOA) has shown that gorgonian corals and erect sponges provide significant components of the complex habitat in that area. These organisms are susceptible to impacts by mobile fishing gear, and are slow to recover from damage once disturbed. This poster presents an overview of these studies, and also presents results of surveys from a submersible vehicle aimed at identifying and characterizing sites that may be deemed Habitat Areas of Particular Concern.