Using underwater video to assess megabenthic community vulnerability to trawling in the Grande Vasière (Bay of Biscay)

Type Article
Date 2018-06
Language English
Author(s) Merillet Laurene1, 2, Mouchet Maud1, Robert MarianneORCID2, Salaun Michele2, Schuck Lucie2, Vaz SandrineORCID3, Kopp DorotheeORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : UPMC, MNHN, CNRS, Ctr Ecol & Sci Conservat,UMR 7204, 43 Rue Buffon, F-75005 Paris, France.
2 : IFREMER, Unite Sci & Technol Halieut, Lab Technol & Biol Halieut, 8 Rue Francois Toullec, F-56100 Lorient, France.
3 : IFREMER, Lab Halieut Mediterranee, UMR MARBEC, Ave Jean Monnet, F-34200 Sete, France.
Source Environmental Conservation (0376-8929) (Cambridge Univ Press), 2018-06 , Vol. 45 , N. 2 , P. 163-172
DOI 10.1017/S0376892917000480
WOS© Times Cited 10
Keyword(s) Bay of Biscay, biodiversity, bottom trawl, fishing, underwater video, vulnerability

Trawling activities are considered to be one of the main sources of disturbance to the seabed worldwide. We aimed to disentangle the dominance of environmental variations and trawling intensity in order to explain the distribution of diversity patterns over 152 sampling sites in the French trawl fishing-ground, the Grande Vasière. Using a towed underwater video device, we identified 39 taxa to the finest taxonomic level possible, which were clustered according to their vulnerability to trawling disturbance based on functional traits. Using generalized linear models, we investigated whether the density distribution of each vulnerability group was sensitive to trawling intensity and habitat characteristics. Our analyses revealed a structuring effect of depth and substratum on community structure. The distribution of the more vulnerable group was a negative function of trawling intensity, while the distributions of the less vulnerable groups were independent of trawling intensity. Video monitoring coupled with trait-based vulnerability assessment of macro-epibenthic communities might be more relevant than the traditional taxonomic approach to identifying the areas that are most vulnerable to fishing activities in conservation planning.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
10 619 KB Access on demand
8 518 KB Access on demand
Author's final draft 37 1 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Merillet Laurene, Mouchet Maud, Robert Marianne, Salaun Michele, Schuck Lucie, Vaz Sandrine, Kopp Dorothee (2018). Using underwater video to assess megabenthic community vulnerability to trawling in the Grande Vasière (Bay of Biscay). Environmental Conservation, 45(2), 163-172. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :