Effects of a 5-year trawling ban on the local benthic community in a wind farm in the Dutch coastal zone

  • Published source details Bergman M.J.N., Ubels S.M., Duineveld G.C.A. & Meesters E.W.G. (2015) Effects of a 5-year trawling ban on the local benthic community in a wind farm in the Dutch coastal zone. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 72, 962-972.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit shipping

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Cease or prohibit all types of fishing

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit shipping

    A site comparison study in 2011 of seven areas of soft seabed in the southern North Sea, Netherlands (Bergmam et al. 2015) found that overall, an area closed to shipping had similar invertebrate abundance, biomass, species richness and diversity, compared to six adjacent open areas where shipping occurred, after five years. For each metric, not all data were shown. From core samples, all areas had similar invertebrate abundance (min. 1,096/m2; (closed area); max. 1,778/m2 (open area)), biomass (min. 32 g/m2 (closed area); max. 17 g/m2 (open area)), number of species (closed: 16; open: 13–20), and diversity (as diversity indices). From dredge samples, invertebrate abundance and species diversity were similar in the closed area and five of six open areas, while all areas had similar biomass (min. 61 g/m2 (closed area); max. 134 g/m2 (closed area)) and number of species (closed: 20; open: 15–21). An offshore wind farm was constructed in 2006, with a 500 m buffer zone (approximately 25 km2) around it closed to all shipping (including fishing vessels). Invertebrates inside the closed area and at six nearby open areas were surveyed in February 2011 using two methods.  Shorter-lived infauna (>1 mm) were sampled using sediment core (0.078 m2; 16 samples across the closed area; 8 samples/open areas). Longer-lived infauna and epifauna (>7 mm) were sampled using a dredge (20 m2; 14 samples across the closed area; 6 samples/open areas). All invertebrates were identified, counted, and weighed (results are for dry weights).

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson & Laura Pettit)

  2. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing

    A before-and-after, site comparison study in 2013–2015 of two rock and cobble sites off the northeast coast of the UK, North Sea (Roach et al. 2018) found that 20 months after closing a site to all fishing during wind farm construction, it had similar numbers but larger European lobster Homarus gammarus compared to a fished site. Total abundance increased in both sites and was similar between sites both before (closed: 63; fished: 74 lobsters/string) and after the closure (closed: 93; fished: 107). The proportion of large lobsters (>100 mm) increased in the closed site and was higher than in the fished site (data presented as size-frequency distributions). In addition, abundance of marketable lobsters (>87 mm) was similar between sites before closure (closed: 11; fished: 10 lobsters/string) but was higher in the closed site after 20 months (closed: 23; fished: 10). In 2014/2015 a 35 km2 windfarm construction site approximately 10 km offshore was closed to all fishing for 20 months, until August 2015. Lobsters were surveyed at a site inside the windfarm area and a site outside (1 km north) in June–September 2013 and in June–September 2015. Each time at each site, 23–24 strings of 30 baited pots were deployed. Abundance (per string) and size of lobsters (carapace length) were recorded

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson)

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