Impact of brown shrimp fishery on benthic habitats (CRANIMPACT)
Bottom contacting fishing is being criticised for destroying seafloor habitats. However, there is a broad range of combinations of fishing gears, habitats and associated ecosystems questioning whether such general statement holds true. Each possible combination of gear and habitat type will exhibit a different degree of impact or damage to seafloor integrity. Although the mechanisms how fishing impacts on seafloor integrity are well understood, results cannot easily be applied to specific regions and fishery – habitat combinations. Each and every benthic habitat and associated ecosystem is unique, so that for a reliable evaluation of fishing impacts, the specific combination of habitat and fishery needs to be assessed. CRANIMPACT will specifically address the brown shrimp fishery in the Southern North Sea for a re-evaluation of their impacts on seafloor integrity of the Wadden Sea National Park. A combination of experimental fisheries and historic data will form the basis for the analyses.