Ecosystem overviews

Celtic Seas Ecoregion

Pressure: Abrasion

Abrasion is associated with bottom-contacting mobile and set fishing activities, in particular scallop dredging, beam trawling, and otter trawling and other activities such as anchoring, hydrodynamic dredging, and cable burial.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Using vessel monitoring system (VMS) and logbook data, ICES estimates that mobile bottom trawls used by commercial fisheries in the 12 m+ vessel category have been deployed over ​approximately 235 000 km2 of the Celtic Sea in 2013, corresponding to ca. 26% of the ecoregion’s spatial extent. This figure excludes Spanish fishing effort. Fishing is mainly concentrated along the shelf edge, i.e. around the southern shelf regions and on fishing grounds in the Irish Sea and to the west of Scotland. STECF data show that fishing effort with bottom mobile gears decreased by 35% from 2003 to 2012 in the Celtic Seas ecoregion. This has reduced the spatial fishing footprint and the average number of times the seabed is trawled per year. A reduction in spatial extent and intensity is particularly apparent for bottom otter trawling for the mixed demersal fishery in the area northwest of Scotland and beam trawling in the Irish Sea.​

The proportion of swept seafloor was gradually reduced from 2009 until 2013 by ca 2.5% in total.

​Other pressures on the ​Celtic Seas ecosystem

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Surface and subsurface abrasion pressure expressed as the swept-area ratio from VMS data from 2013 in the ICES Celtic Seas ecoregion (ICES, 2015b)​. Click on image to enlarge.
This appeared in ICES Advice on Indicators 5, 6, and 7 of DCF Annex XII​, in December 2015.
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Celtic Seas Ecoregion

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