Ecosystem overviews

Greeland Sea Ecosystem Overview

Pressure: Abrasion

​​​​​​​​​Most demersal fisheries in the ecoregion are bottom-trawl fisheries. Abrasion by towed bottom-contacting gear causes damage and loss of potentially important benthic habitat. Figure 6 maps the effort by bottom trawlers in the recent decade (2009–2019) for the main targeted species. Mapping of benthic habitats is currently limited. Preliminary data indicate a high degree of overlap between the trawl footprint for cod and redfish and the habitats of corals and sponges (Figure 7).

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​Figure 6: Bottom-trawling effort distribution in the last decade (2009–2019) for four demersal species. Upper panels: cod and Greenland halibut (GHL). Lower panels: redfish spp. (RED) and northern shrimp (PRA). The Greenland and Iceland EEZ borders are shown.​

Figure 7: Overview of observations of corals and sponges collected as trawl bycatch on research surveys conducted by the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR) in East Greenland. Species-level information is stored in GINR's benthos database. Modified from Blicher and Hammeken Arboe (2017).
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Greeland Sea Ecosystem Overview

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