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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christopher Frid
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The North Sea has been subjected to fishing activity for many centuries. However, improvements in both fishing vessels and trawling gears since the early 1900s have meant that fishing intensity has increased. A resultant increase in the areas trawled and the use of heavier and potentially more destructive gears probably had effects on the marine community. Information on benthic communities within the North Sea, from both published and unpublished sources, has been compiled to provide a long-term data set of changes in the marine benthos on five selected fishing grounds over 60 years. In two of these (Dogger Bank and Inner Shoal), there was no significant difference in community composition between the early 1920s and late 1980s. In the remaining three areas (Dowsing Shoal, Great Silver Pit, and Fisher Bank) significant differences were observed. However, these were the result of changes in abundance of many taxa rather than large-scale losses of sensitive organisms. These results suggest that fishing has influenced benthic communities in the North Sea. The possibility remains that fishing-induced changes had occurred at the Dogger Bank and Inner Shoal prior to the 1920s. © 2000 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
Author(s): Frid CLJ; Harwood KG; Hall SJ; Hall JA
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: ICES Journal of Marine Science
Print publication date: 01/01/2000
ISSN (print): 1054-3139
ISSN (electronic): 1095-9289
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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