ICES Annual Science Conference 2019

Theme session M

Quantifying bottom fishing footprints, indicators and reference points for seabed impacts

​​​How many specific habitats do we need to protect in order to preserve the proper functioning of the benthic ecosystem? What is an acceptable level of intensity for activities carried out here?

The ability to answer such questions is essential for successful ecosystem-based management, but requires a wide range of scientific knowledge to be developed and combined in an applicable framework. There is a need for spatial information, the location of seabed habitats and the distribution of relevant human activities, combined with an understanding of the activity's effect on the seabed.

The exploration of alternative management scenarios benefits from an understanding of how human activities will redistribute in response to management. The ensuing framework should be applicable across habitats, human activities, and on a wide spatial scale.

Theme session M provides an opportunity to review the applied assessment frameworks and will showcase the state of the art in this field. The conveners welcome submissions that focus on:

  • Ways of estimating the footprint of human activity (e.g. fishing gear, dredging operations)
  • Methods to quantify the sensitivity of seabed habitats to human activities
  • Ground truthing of indicators that assess the impact on benthic ecosystems
  • Methods to establish threshold values for impact indicators, indicating adverse impacts or habitat degradation
  • Approaches that allow spatial upscaling of local findings to regional scale
  • Management actions/plans that reduce the footprint of human activities or establish trade-offs between impact and economic revenue




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Conve​ners:
Jan Geert Hiddink  (UK)
Gert Van Hoey  (Belgium)
Roland Pitcher (Australia)
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Theme session M

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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