Beam trawl fishery has been questioned from both economic and ecological perspectives. One of the alternatives is trammel net fisheries, a passive fishery with a higher economic potential, as it is much less dependent on fuel. However, its environmental impact has only limitedly been quantified for the Belgian Part of the North Sea (BPNS). The effects of beam trawl and trammel net fisheries are partially being reviewed within the WAKO-I project and knowledge gaps have been identified.
WAKO-II will address these gaps and aims at
an integrated assessment of the effects of beam trawl and trammel net fisheries for five structural ecosystem components: endofaunal and epifaunal invertebrates, fish, seabirds and marine mammals at the BPNS.
- Quantification of the mortality and/or interaction of 5 ecosystem components (endofauna, epifauna, fish, seabirds and marine mammals) and beam trawl / trammel net fishery
- Sensitivity assessment: Selection of key species, sensitive to beam trawl and/or trammel net fishery
- Spatial and/or temporal distribution patterns of the selected, sensitive key species
- Development of sensitivity maps for beam trawl and trammel net fisheries, based on the spatio-temporal distribution of key species and comparison with fishing effort at the BPNS.
The integration of spatial full cover distribution maps of key species, sensitivity analyses and the best available information on fishing effort will enable us to spatially map the impact of the two most important Belgian fisheries and will provide a baseline for the development of policies, leading to an appropriate environmental management and a sustainable coastal fisheries management for both beam trawl and trammel net fisheries.
WAKO-II is a co-operation between 3 Belgian research institutes (ILVO, INBO, MUMM) and the University of Ghent . The project started the 1st of may 2009, runs for 2 years and is carried out in the framework of Research programme: “Science for a Sustainable Development (SSD)” of the Belgian Federals Science Policy Office.