Prioritization of knowledge-needs to achieve best practices for bottom trawling in relation to seabed habitats


Michel J. Kaiser, Bangor University
Ray Hilborn, University of Washington
Simon Jennings, Centre for the Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Ricky Amaroso, University of Washington
Michael Andersen, Danish Fishermen Producer Organisation
Kris Balliet, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Foundation
Eric Barratt, Sanford Limited
Odd A. Bergstad, Havforskningsinstituttet
Stephen Bishop, Independent Fisheries Ltd.
Jodi L. Bostrom, Marine Stewardship Council
Catherine Boyd, Clearwater Seafoods
Eduardo A. Bruce, Friosur S.A.
Merrick Burden, Marine Conservation Alliance
Chris Carey, Independent Fisheries Ltd.
Jason Clermont, New England Aquarium
Jeremy S. Collie, University of Rhode Island
Antony Delahunty, National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations
Jacqui Dixon, Pacific Andes International Holdings Limited
Steve Eayrs, Gulf Maine Research Institute
Nigel Edwards, Seachill Ltd.
Rod Fujita, Environmental Defense Fund
John Gauvin, Alaska Seafood Cooperative
Mary Gleason, Nature Conservancy
Brad Harris, Alaska Pacific University
Pingguo He, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Jan G. Hiddink, Bangor University
Kathryn M. Hughes, Bangor University
Mario Inostroza, EMDEPES
Andrew Kenny, Centre for the Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Jake Kritzer, Environmental Defense Fund
Volker Kuntzsch, Sanford Limited
Mario Lasta
Ivan Lopez, Confederación Española de Policía
Craig Loveridge, South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation
Don Lynch, Gorton'S, Inc.
Jim Masters, Marine Conservation Society

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Date of Original Version



Management and technical approaches that achieve a sustainable level of fish production while at the same time minimizing or limiting the wider ecological effects caused through fishing gear contact with the seabed might be considered to be ‘best practice’. To identify future knowledge-needs that would help to support a transition towards the adoption of best practices for trawling, a prioritization exercise was undertaken with a group of 39 practitioners from the seafood industry and management, and 13 research scientists who have an active research interest in bottom-trawl and dredge fisheries. A list of 108 knowledge-needs related to trawl and dredge fisheries was developed in conjunction with an ‘expert task force’. The long list was further refined through a three stage process of voting and scoring, including discussions of each knowledge-need. The top 25 knowledge-needs are presented, as scored separately by practitioners and scientists. There was considerable consistency in the priorities identified by these two groups. The top priority knowledge-need to improve current understanding on the distribution and extent of different habitat types also reinforced the concomitant need for the provision and access to data on the spatial and temporal distribution of all forms of towed bottom-fishing activities. Many of the other top 25 knowledge-needs concerned the evaluation of different management approaches or implementation of different fishing practices, particularly those that explore trade-offs between effects of bottom trawling on biodiversity and ecosystem services and the benefits of fish production as food.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Fish and Fisheries