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An integrated impact assessment of trammel net and beam trawl fisheries (WAKO II)

Research project SD/NS/08A (Research action SD)


Persons :

  • Ir.  DEPESTELE Jochen - Instituut voor landbouw en Visserij Onderzoek (ILVO)
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/5/2009-30/10/2011
  • Dhr.  STIENEN Eric - Instituut voor natuur- en bosonderzoek (IN)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/5/2009-30/10/2011
  • Dr.  HAELTERS  Jan - Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences ()
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/5/2009-30/10/2011
  • Dr.  DEGRAER Steven - Universiteit Gent (RUG)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/5/2009-30/10/2011
  • Prof. dr.  VINCX Magda - Universiteit Gent (RUG)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/5/2009-30/10/2011

Description :

CONTEXT

WAKO-II is the follow-up project of “Environmental impact evaluation of trammel net and beam trawl fisheries on the Belgian part of the North Sea” (WAKO-I). The former WAKO-I project served as stepping stone in the exploration of multi-disciplinary research and compiling expertise from biological-ecological and fisheries science. WAKO-II builds upon this base and bridges projects, exclusively focused on fundamental ecosystem research (such as Westbanks, the EU SCANS-II project, …) and fisheries projects (such as those financed through the European Fisheries Fund). As such, WAKO-II aims at scientifically underpinning the development of an integrated policy, reconciling the interests of the marine environment and fisheries.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Objectives

This study targets an integrated assessment of direct ecosystem effects of trammel net and beam trawl fisheries for the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS). A total of 4 workpackages are therefore drawn up, namely (1) quantification of the major direct, short-term effects of trammel net and beam trawl fisheries at the BPNS, (2) the development and application of a methodology for a sensitivity assessment of key species of each of the ecosystem components (endo-, epifauna, fish, sea birds and marine mammals), (3) the making of spatio-temporal distribution maps of these key species and (4) the integration of sensitivity maps of the key species and fishing effort.

Methodology

The impact of beam trawl fisheries on several ecosystem components is investigated through a combination of literature data, experimental sea trips and data of monitoring campaigns. The impact of trammel net fisheries at the BPNS is barely quantified, except for strandings data of harbour porpoise. Therefore a monitoring programme has been drawn up. The mortality due to (by-)catch, and possible effects on other species than the harbour porpoise, are registered through this programme and a thorough cooperation with fishermen.
This quantification of short-term effects (work package 1) will be combined with literature data on recovery in work package 2. A methodology will be developed and applied to relate mortality and recovery into a sensitivity assessment of a range of key species. The list of key species comprises both highly sensitive species and tolerant species.
The species lists, one for trammel nets and one for beam trawl fisheries, possibly encompass each of the ecosystem components. Distribution maps of each of the key species will be made in the third work package. Habitat suitability maps are the applied methodology for endo-, epifauna and fish species, whereas for seabirds and marine mammals full coverage distribution maps will be developed. The latter is supported through an extensive monitoring programme and appropriate modeling.
The distribution maps of each key species will be combined with their sensitivity in the final work package. As such, an area with a highly abundant species, that is highly sensitive to beam trawl disturbance, will score high on the sensitivity index. An area with a highly abundant species that is not sensitive to trammel net disturbance will receive a low sensitivity score. Sensitivity maps of key species will be produced for beam trawl and trammel net disturbance by linking each of the sensitivity scores of the key species and their distribution. The sensitivity of an area at the BPNS is determined by a combination of these sensitivities. These maps will be compared with the best available knowledge of fishing effort. In the end this will lead to supporting spatial planning of fishing activities at the BPNS.

Expected results and/or Products

- Peer-reviewed papers
- Project website (www.ilvo.vlaanderen.be/wako)
- Presentations, posters, etc. to inform a large audience
- Databases and methodologies for further research and policy-support
- Sound scientific evidence for supporting policy makers with respect to environmental and fishery management.

Interactions between partners

WAKO-II is built upon an extensive consortium with expertise in different disciplines, ranging from fundamental scientific to applied research. This knowledge includes a range of ecosystem components, from benthic invertebrates, over fish up to organisms at the end of the food chain (seabirds and marine mammals). Fisheries related effects are studied in close cooperation with the ILVO. Benthos related aspects of the research are the responsibility of the ILVO and the Section Marine Biology (Ugent). The INBO is specialized in research related to seabird, whereas RBINS/MUMM focuses mainly on marine mammals. Integrated evaluations are managed by one of the partners, but are always in dialogue with all partners.

PARTNERS

ILVO
Coördination, quantification of the impact on benthos and demersal fish, sensitivity assessment of key species, development of habitat suitability maps for epifauna and fish and evaluation of the sensitivity maps and fishing effort

RBINS/MUMM
Quantification of the impact on marine mammals, sensitivity assessment of key species (coordination of the development and application of the methodology), development of full coverage distribution maps for marine mammals

INBO
Quantification of the impact on seabirds, sensitivity assessment of key species, development of full coverage distribution maps for seabirds
Section Marine Biology, University of Ghent:
Sensitivity assessment of key species, development of habitat suitability maps for endofauna and knowledge on the impact on endofauna

CONTACT INFORMATIE

Jochen Depestele1, Kris Hostens², Hans Polet1 & Sofie Vandendriessche²
ILVO - Unit Animal Sciences, Fisheries
Section 1Fishing Gear Technology / ²Biological Monitoring
Ankerstraat 1
8400 Oostende
Tel. + 32 (0) 59 56 98 38
Fax. + 32 (0) 59 33 06 29
Jochen.Depestele@ilvo.vlaanderen.be

Wouter Courtens & Eric Stienen
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Kliniekstraat 25
B-1070 Brussel
Tel:+32 (0)2 558 18 28
Fax:+32 (0)2 558 18 05
Eric.Stienen@inbo.be

Steven Degraer & Jan Haelters
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)
Department MUMM - Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (MUMM)
3de en 23ste Linieregimentsplein, 8400 Oostende
Tel. +32 (0)59 24 20 55 / Fax. +32 (0)59 70 49 35
J.Haelters@mumm.ac.be
Gulledelle 100, 1200 Brussel
Tel. + 32 (0)2 773 21 11 / Fax. +32 (0)2 770 69 72
S.Degraer@mumm.ac.be

Marijn Rabaut & Magda Vincx
University of Ghent
Biology Department - Marine Biology Section
Krijgslaan 281 S8
B-9000 Gent
Tel: +32 (0)9 264.85.29
Fax: +32 (0)9 264.85.98
Marijn.Rabaut@ugent.be

FOLLOW-UP COMMITTEE
The follow-up committee is a group of non-financed stakeholders, interested in the project as a source of data, scientific expertise or other information. They can be end-users of the developed scientific methodologies, of the data or of the developed policy support. Stakeholders are also included to express their concerns about the sustainable development of fisheries and the marine environment from their point of view. The follow-up committee is composed of:

- Policy supporting research institutes and data centers
o Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
o Maritime Institute (Ghent University)
o Coordination Centre for Integrated Coastal Zone Management
- National policy makers for fisheries and environmental management
o Federal administration for the Marine Environment
o Representative of Minister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Institutional Reform, Ports, Agriculture, Sea Fisheries and Rural Policy
o Flemish Government, Department Agriculture and fisheries; Section Agricultural and Fisheries policy
- Sector-based associations and the private sector
o Fishermen’s organizations (Rederscentrale C.V.)
o individual trammel net fishermen (N 95, O 32, O 369, O 554)
- Environmental NGO’s and associations
o Coastal Working group of Natuurpunt vzw
o “strandwerkgroep”


Documentation :

An integrated impact assessment of trammel net and beam trawl fisheries : final report  Depestele, J. - Hostens, Kris - Polet, Hans ... et al  Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2012 (SP2466)
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