Pinpointing the footprint of trawling fishing vessels on coastal shelves

In recent years there has been a growing debate about what proportion of the oceans is fished, with estimates ranging from well above 50% to just 4%. A new paper now looks at one of the most widespread and damaging fishing types, trawling, where a net is dragged over the sea bottom to capture fish. The new method focuses on shallower continental shelves that are less than 1000 m in depth, finding that the trawling footprint varies hugely across regions from 0.4% of the area to more than 80%, with an average of 14% for all regions examined. The new work is highlighted in UW News and appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the USA. It was led by SAFS postdoctoral scholar, and includes SAFS professor Ray Hilborn among the more than 40 coauthors in the international collaboration.

Trawling intensity in different parts of the world.
Back to Top