The different building blocks (work packages) of the BENTHIS project provide the knowledge on mapping, the benthic ecosystem, fishing impact, economy and fisheries management. In the case studies we use this information to study a number of existing fisheries in five regional seas in Europe.
Framework and Synthesis (WP1)
In the first work package, we will identify the main processes that determine fishing impact on benthic ecosystem structure and functioning. Next, we will prepare a framework for assessing the fishing impact on benthic ecosystems and the options for mitigations through technological innovations and management innovation and synthesise the results of the project and formulate conclusions that can be generally applied.
Mapping of habitats and benthic impact from fisheries (WP2)
In this work package, we will map habitat types and sea bed impact from fishing activities in EU waters to identify where fisheries potentially compromises seabed integrity conflicts of ecosystem services. We will also develop and implement new methodology, combining VMS, logbook and industry data to assess actual seabed impact from large scale fishing activities on an appropriate spatial and temporal scale.
Benthic ecosystem (WP3)
In the third work package, we will identify and quantify the most relevant and significant relationships between species biological traits and their functions (e.g. ecosystem services they provide) for a range of habitat types (subjected to varying amounts of natural disturbance) representative of European Regional Seas.
Furthermore, BENTHIS will identify and quantify the interactions among benthic invertebrates and their relationship to benthivorous fish (predator-prey relationships, competition for food / space, fish benthos interactions) at a functional level. Finally, we will integrate the findings of this work package with WP4 (Effect of fisheries on ecosystems) in order to develop a generic fishing/seabed habitat risk assessment method.
Effect of fisheries on ecosystems (WP4)
In this forth work package we will quantify and predict the direct and chronic effects of bottom trawling on the state and functioning of benthic ecosystems.
The objective of the Economics work package are to develop innovative tools to assess the economic performances of different fishing practices and predict the response of the fleets to change in gears and management measures in terms of effort allocation. We will also develop tools to predict the long-term investment behaviour created by the introduction of innovative gears and other management measures mitigating the impact of fishing on the benthos.
Fisheries management (WP6)
The objective of the Fisheries management work package is to develop innovative management tools involving the latest technologies and to apply these tools to achieving sustainable EU benthic and demersal fisheries in regional case studies (WP7).
Case studies (WP7)
- Western Baltic
- North Sea
- Western Waters
- Black Sea