Physical disturbance of benthic habitats by bottom trawl fishing gear is described by using vessel monitoring system (VMS) and logbook data. The extent, magnitude, and impact of mobile bottom-contacting fishing gear on the seabed and benthic habitats varies geographically across the North Sea. See figure on the right.
Other main pressures on the Greater North Sea ecosystem
Average annual subsurface (left) and surface (right) disturbance by mobile bottom contacting fishing gear (Bottom otter trawls, Bottom seines, Dredges, Beam trawls) in the Greater North Sea during 2014-2017, expressed as average swept area ratios (SAR). Click on the image to enlarge.