Working Group on Fisheries Benthic Impact and Trade-offs (WGFBIT; outputs from 2019 meeting).

Type Article
Date 2020
Language English
Author(s) ICES
Contributor(s) Ritzau Eigaard Ole, Van Hoey Gert, Van Kooten Tobias, Valanko Sebastian, Van Denderen Daniel, Bastardie François, Bolam Stefan, Boulcott Philip, Buhl Mortensen Lene, Burgos Julian, Coleman Paul, Colombelli Alessandro, D'Andrea Lorenzo, Depestele Jochen, Dinesen Grete Elisabeth, Egekvist Josefine, Fanelli Emanuela, Fiorentino Dario, Hiddink Jan Geert, Kazanidis Georgios, Laffargue PascalORCID, Lindal Jorgensen Lis, Mangano Cristina, Martinez Roi, Parry Megan, Punzo Elisa, Sala Antonella, Scarcella Giuseppe, Skold Mattias, Tassetti Anna Nora
Source ICES Scientific Reports/Rapports scientifiques du CIEM (2618-1371) (ICES), 2020 , Vol. 2 , N. 6 , P. 101p.
DOI 10.17895/

The Working Group on Fisheries Benthic Impact and Trade-offs (WGFBIT) develops methods and performs assessments to evaluate benthic impact from fisheries at regional scale, while con-sidering fisheries and seabed impact trade-offs. WGFBIT has attempted to per-form these assess-ments for as many regions as possible, and for each region indicate, prioritize and execute (if feasible) potential improvements. In order to broadly anchor the assessment methodology, demonstrate its utility and flexibility and identify relevant data gaps and appropriate improve-ment potentials it was key that each assessment was per-formed and discussed by the regional experts at the meeting.

The FBIT assessment framework was successfully applied in 5 ecoregions; the Arctic Sea, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Celtic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, with variable level of com-pleteness and robustness. Standard structured regional outputs from the WGFBIT assessment workflow, in terms of pressure, sensitivity and impact estimates, were produced and presented for each region. This is a significant step towards the WGFBIT term of reference ‘to produce a framework for MSFD D6/D1 assessment related to bottom abrasion of fishing activity at the re-gional scale’.

An additional outcome from the assessments was an increased consensus and appreciation of the utility of the FBIT assessment framework. Each regional group identified where and how the assessment and methodology could be further improved; e.g. the need for updated and region-wide fishing pressure data and the inclusion of additional region-specific environmental varia-bles in the estimation of habitat sensitivity. Moreover, a strategy was agreed on to further oper-ationalize the current ecoregion assessments as well as bring in additional ecoregions.

Four intersessional subgroups (trade-off, deep sea, data-script management, communication and advice) were established to facilitate future advances in the work of WGFBIT. These groups will be seeking to update and increase coverage of fishing pressure data (mainly for the Mediterra-nean), develop longevity estimation methods for deep-sea species and habitats, refine assess-ment approaches, integrate additional physical disturbance pressures, in addition to fishing, in the assessment and further develop communication material addressing dissemination of the methodological details, the actual assessment procedures and standardized workflow.

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