Case studies

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.

Working Packages and Case Studies BENTHIS.

Western Baltic Case Study

In this region, the main benthic impact from the fishery is assumed to come from Norway lobster (Nephrops) trawling in the southern Kattegat, mussel dredging in the Belt Sea, and mixed cod trawling in the western Baltic.

Together with fishermen, BENTHIS assesses current trawling impacts, put forth options for mitigation and test alternative fishing gears.

North Sea Case Study

In the North Sea, BENTHIS studies the impact on the benthic ecosystem by flatfish fisheries for flatfish and brown shrimps. Recently, a set of alternative gears have been developed by the fishing industry to reduce the fuel consumption and mitigate the impact on the sea bed. Relevant examples are tickler chains that have been replaced by electric stimuli and the use of other gear types such as fly shoot and twin trawl.

In this region, BENTHIS will pay particular attention to the question of how beam trawling may impact the food and productivity of flatfish.

Western Waters Case Study

In the Western Waters BENTHIS focuses on Nephrops  (Norwegian lobster), scallop and deep-water fisheries. For each of these fisheries BENTHIS will analyse the impact, efficiency and economic viability of less impacting gears.

The focus will be on:

  1. Hake-Nephrops trawling mixed fishery located in bay of Biscay.
  2. Nephrops trawling fishery in the Western Irish Sea.
  3. Scallop Dredge in South Eastern Irish coastal area.
  4. Cold Water Corals habitats.

Mediterranean Case Study

In the Mediterranean, BENTHIS focuses on the alternatives for the demersal otter trawl fisheries. The unwanted catches in the demersale fisheries need to be reduced and we will develop commercially acceptable selective gear designs. BENTHIS will formulate guidance for future designs to shift from traditional demersal otterboards to novel and semi-pelagic otterboards and develop viable alternative fishing methods (pots and traps).

Black Sea Case Study

In the Black Sea, BENTHIS focusses on the beam trawl fishery for rapa whelks (Rapana venosa) in the littoral zone of the southern Black Sea. The Samsun area has been trawled intensively for a long period. Due to the increase in abundance, rapa whelks have gained commercial important since the 1980s in the eastern Black Sea. This fishery is also characterised by an important bycatch of juvenile flatfish. The adverse impact of bottom trawling on commercial and non-commercial benthic/demersal fauna is a major concern in Turkey and has raised many speculations often without any firm scientific basis.

Baltic Sea North Sea Western waters Mediterranean Black Sea
Otter trawl X X X
Beam trawl X X
Nephrops trawl X X
Shellfish dredge X X
Pots X X