What are we protecting? Fisher behavior and the unintended consequences of spatial closures as a fishery management tool

  • Published source details Abbott J.K. & Haynie A.C. (2012) What are we protecting? Fisher behavior and the unintended consequences of spatial closures as a fishery management tool. Ecological Applications, 22, 762-777.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit bottom trawling

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit bottom trawling

    A replicated, before-and-after, site comparison study in 1992–1997 in the eastern Bering Sea, USA (Abbott & Haynie 2012) found that during the three years after closing areas to all bottom trawling, unwanted catch of red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus appeared to have decreased, while no changes appeared to have occurred in nearby trawled areas (results not tested for statistical significance). In the closed areas, average unwanted crab catch tended to be lower after the closure (2–4 crabs/hour) compared to before (6–17). In addition, the proportion of hauls without crabs tended to be higher after the closure (after: 91–95%) compared to before (71–86%). In the continuously trawled areas, unwanted crab catch was similar before (2–8 crabs/hour) and after (2–4 crabs/hour) the closure. Two areas were closed to all bottom trawling in 1995. Unwanted catch data inside the closed areas and in nearby trawled areas (number and location unspecified) between January 1992 and March 1997 were obtained from the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program (approximately 4,500 observations).

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson & Laura Pettit)

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