The ups and downs of traps: environmental impacts, entanglement, mitigation, and the future of trap fishing for crustaceans and fish
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The ups and downs of traps: environmental impacts, entanglement, mitigation, and the future of trap fishing for crustaceans and fish

  • Published Date:

    2020

  • Source:
    ICES Journal of Marine Science, 78(2): 584–596
Filetype[PDF-925.51 KB]


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  • Description:
    Fishing has many types of impacts on the marine environment. Degradation of seafloor habitats by trawling has been widely studied, along with bycatch mortality, and ghost fishing by traps. Traps or pots are commonly used for catching crustaceans and other organisms, but little research has been conducted on the environmental impacts of trap fishing. Trap fishing causes direct impacts on benthic habitats during setting and retrieval, including dragging along the seafloor, which can lead to the damage and destruction of habitat components such as corals, sponges, and other epifauna. Lines connecting multiple traps increase the overall footprint and cause additional damage. Lost traps and debris can cause damage to coral, submerged aquatic vegetation, and epifauna, especially if moved by storms. Although the trap footprint is small, movement of the trap can expand the impact footprint by an order of magnitude. Trap lines cause whale entanglement and death, and there is much interest in reducing the number of vertical lines as well as their potential for entanglement. New technologies for deploying, locating, and recovering traps are now being developed. The future of trap fisheries will require research on new ways to reduce their negative impacts on benthic and pelagic resources.
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  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
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