Science Advisory Report 2010/003
Potential impacts of fishing gears (excluding mobile bottom-contacting gears) on marine habitats and communities
- The fishing gears reviewed in this science advisory report have impacts on marine habitats and biodiversity. However, these impacts are not uniform and are not expected to occur universally every time a particular gear is used.
- Generally, the impacts of any fishing gear are relative to the effort of the fishery. The severity of any impact will depend on at least:
- The nature of the impact (i.e. what is impacted and in what way);
- The location and scale of the fishery (overall and relative to the location and scale of the ecosystem feature being impacted);
- How the gear is rigged, deployed, and retrieved; and
- Any additional threats facing the ecosystem feature being impacted by the gear in question.
- Mitigation measures exist to reduce, and sometimes eliminate, every documented impact related to fishing gears. Many Canadian fisheries make use of appropriate mitigation measures as part of their regular operations and some have been shown to provide benefits to the fishery (e.g. reduced handling time and/or improved product quality).
- The effectiveness of every mitigation measure is fishery-specific and depends on the particular impact being addressed, the appropriateness of the measure, and the how it is implemented. An evaluation of the nature and scale of impacts is an important step in identifying appropriate mitigation measures.
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