Fishers have been complaining about the effects of bottom trawl gear on the marine environment since at least the 14th century. As the health of stocks improves, the same or a larger quantity of fish can be taken in smaller areas. Bottom trawling involves the act of towing heavy fishing gear above the seafloor. Although commercial bottom trawling and dredging are conducted with the intent of capturing target species with minimal impact on the marine environment, in practice the use of such towed fishing gears often results in three distinct types of disturbance to the … In fisheries that are managed sustainably, trawling effects are minimised because the area trawled—the trawling footprint—is small. Bottom trawling is an incredibly destructive method of fishing that involves dragging weighted nets across the seafloor. Deep-sea trawling is devastating corals and pristine marine habitats that have gone untouched since the last ice age, a leading marine biologist has warned. The effects of litter on benthic communities is poorly known, but large litter items, such as lost fishing gear may add to the direct negative effects of bottom trawling. Bottom trawling destroys far more ocean habitat than any other fishing practice on the West Coast. Introduction The Norwegian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is large (2.1 Mkm 2 ), and most of it is deep sea (>200 m). During bottom trawling the primary function of the forward parts of the trawl is to maintain bottom contact, provide spread and … Trawling has been so controversial because it causes a lot of damage to the sea environment. Some geographic regions trawl less than 1 percent of their fishing grounds; others more than 80%. Seafloor trawling, in which equipment is pulled across the seafloor to catch bottom-dwelling fish, decreases the biomass and production of benthic species. Because trawling affected some traits more than others, community biomass was less evenly distributed across traits in highly trawled areas, which resulted in lower levels of functional diversity and evenness. The impacts of … 9 The practice also practice destroys corals, oysters and sponges that form productive marine habitats. Assessing the long-term and large-scale impact of chronic bottom trawling on ecosystem functioning should therefore have priority in studies of the impact of bottom trawling (Tillin et al., 2006). In order to fully study the effects of trawling investigations should consider impact on both structure and function ( de Juan et al., 2007 ). In this fishing method, large weighted nets are dragged across the ocean floor, clear-cutting a swath of habitat in their wake. Therefore, impact on the bottom habitat will differ among the various bottom trawl fisheries and also to a large extent depend on the bottom conditions in the area fished. 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