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Spatially modelling the suitability, sensitivity, and vulnerability of data poor fisheries with GIS: A case study of the Northumberland lugworm fishery

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ashleigh Tinlin-Mackenzie, Dr Jane Delany, Dr Catherine Scott, Professor Clare Fitzsimmons



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Elsevier , 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019 Elsevier LtdData on fishers' spatial distribution are vital, driven by a requirement for evidence-based management, and the trend towards Marine Spatial Planning. Intertidal fisheries have received considerably less attention from managers and scientists, compared to inshore and offshore counterparts to date. The need for additional intertidal fisheries data to inform management, specifically within European Marine Sites, has been identified. The purpose of this study is to map the spatial distribution of the data-poor Northumberland lugworm fishery, relating this to the sensitive features, habitats, and species present within the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast European Marine Site (BNNC EMS), ultimately mapping the vulnerability of areas to lugworm bait digging. Suitability, sensitivity, and vulnerability to the lugworm fishery were spatially modelled using cost-effective methodologies. Weighted Linear Combination models were created using both collated (e.g. sediment type, conservation designations) and collected data (e.g. lugworm density and size). Data processing was undertaken in GIS, and criteria weightings were assigned from expert interviews. Model outputs revealed the most intensely harvested sites (most suitable), the areas which contained the most sensitive habitats or species (most sensitive), and the sites which were most likely to be impacted by the lugworm fishery (most vulnerable). Extant spatial management measures within the BNNC EMS (e.g. byelaws) were found to encompass the majority of the most vulnerable areas identified, with exceptions highlighted for marine managers. There is scope for methods to be developed further, for additional intertidal fisheries and localities, as a useful management tool where spatial data are lacking.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tinlin-Mackenzie A, Delany J, Scott CL, Fitzsimmons C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Marine Policy

Year: 2019

Volume: 109

Print publication date: 01/11/2019

Online publication date: 04/10/2019

Acceptance date: 24/09/2019

Date deposited: 23/10/2019

ISSN (print): 0308-597X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9460

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103707


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