An integrated impact assessment of trammel net and beam trawl fisheries

WAKO-II

Completed: May 2009 - April 2011

The project WAKO-II aims at an integrated assessment of ecosystem effects of trammel net and beam trawl fisheries for the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS). The effects of both fisheries will be quantified on five structural ecosystem components, namely endofaunal and epifaunal invertebrates, fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Key species will be determined where appropriate. Their sensitivity to fisheries disturbance will be estimated, as well as their spatial and temporal distribution patterns. These results will be integrated for the key species of the five ecosystem components to create sensitivity maps, which will then be compared with the best available information on fishing effort. In this sense, two sole fisheries (the most valuable commercial fish species in Belgium) will be compared for their direct short-term impacts. This might be used as a guidance for marine spatial planning of both beam trawl and trammel net fisheries, to mitigate their impact on five important components.