Journal Article

Effects of crustacean traps on benthic fauna

N. Clare Eno, David S. MacDonald, Jim A. M. Kinnear, S. Chris Amos, Colin J. Chapman, Robin A. Clark, Francis St P.D. Bunker and Colin Munro

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 58, issue 1, pages 11-20
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Effects of crustacean traps on benthic fauna

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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We examined the effects of fishing with crustacean traps on benthic species in Great Britain by means of qualitative and quantitative experiments. Experimental sites were selected where fishing using pots or creels was practised regularly and where species perceived to be potentially sensitive to damage were present. The effect of Nephrops creels on different sea pen species was studied in Scottish sea lochs. Sea pens were observed to bend in response to the pressure wave before the creel made contact. After smothering and even uprooting, they re-established themselves when in contact with muddy substrate. Observations of lobster and crab pots being hauled from rocky substrates in southern England, revealed that the habitats and their communities appeared relatively unaffected by potting. The slow-growing, long-lived, pink sea fan Eunicella verrucosa were observed to flex under the weight of pots as they passed and then returned back to an upright position. Quantitative studies, undertaken in south England and west Wales, were based on surveys carried out along transect lines before and after a month of pot fishing for crabs and lobsters. The results suggest that four weeks of fairly intense fishing did not have immediate detrimental effects on the abundance of the species selected for study, although some individual ross coral colonies (Pentapora foliacea) were damaged.

Keywords: pots; creels; benthos; sea pens; pink sea fan; ross coral

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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