Journal Article

Effects of scallop dredging on macrobenthic communities in west Iceland

Elena Guijarro Garcia, Stefán Áki Ragnarsson and Hrafnkell Eiríksson

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 63, issue 3, pages 434-443
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.08.013
Effects of scallop dredging on macrobenthic communities in west Iceland

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Effects of scallop dredging on benthic communities in Breidafjordur, west Iceland, were investigated by analysing bycatch data from scallop stock assessment surveys and effort data from the commercial scallop fishery. Bycatch constituted 28% of the total catch, with eight benthic macrofaunal taxa alone making up nearly 98% of the bycatch. Modiolus modiolus and Cucumaria frondosa dominated in terms of abundance and biomass in most of the study area regardless of intensity of fishing effort, although both have been identified as sensitive to fishing in other studies. The macrofaunal benthic community in Breidafjordur consisted mostly of hard-shelled molluscs, holothurians, crabs, and starfish. Emerging epifauna was absent in the samples taken since 1993. These results suggest that our study was carried out within an already altered community that would have suffered the greatest impact during the early years of the scallop fishery. However, the available data are not enough to endorse this assumption with complete certainty.

Keywords: benthic communities; bycatch; dredging; macrobenthos; scallop fisheries

Journal Article.  4863 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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