Benthic Habitats of Greenland - Edexcel talk - ZSL - Nov 2013

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Overview of a project to assess the impact of shrimp fishing on the benthic habitats of Greenland.
Talk given by Chris Yesson to A-Level students for the Edexcel talk series at the Zoological Society of London in November 2013

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Benthic Habitats of Greenland - Edexcel talk - ZSL - Nov 2013

  1. 1. How does fishing affect the seabed of Greenland? Chris Yesson
  2. 2. Where's Greenland?
  3. 3. Where's Greenland?
  4. 4. Shrimp fishing – a 1bn DKK industry
  5. 5. Marine Stewardship Council
  6. 6. Marine Stewardship Council • Recognise and reward fisheries that fish sustainably • Work with fishery and commercial partners to build a market for sustainable seafood • Give buyers and consumers an easy way to find seafood from a sustainable fishery - the blue MSC ecolabel
  7. 7. Potential impact of trawling gear • Some trawling has been likened to forest clear cutting • Gear that is dragged along the bottom of the seabed can disturb, damage or destroy many organisms • But the 'right gear' used in the 'right habitat' can have negligible impact Unimpacted Impacted Collie et al (2000) ICES J. Mar. Sci 57: 987-1000 Watling & Norse (1998) Cons. Biol. 12: 1180-97
  8. 8. Our mission • What benthic habitats are there on the west Greenland shelf? • Are there any vulnerable marine ecosystems? • What is the impact of shrimp trawling on these habitats?
  9. 9. Pamuit – survey ship
  10. 10. Bycatch of large vulnerable organisms
  11. 11. Example seabed images
  12. 12. Some things are easy to identify
  13. 13. Some things are difficult to spot
  14. 14. Some things we can't ID
  15. 15. A guide to the benthic fauna
  16. 16. Biodiversity is... • "The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems." - Convention on Biological Diversity
  17. 17. Which has higher biodiversity? A B
  18. 18. Which has higher biodiversity? C B
  19. 19. Diversity • Number of organisms • Number of species • Biomass • Shannon index – An measure that tries to balance species and organisms
  20. 20. Calculate diversity for all stations H=0.4 H=0.9
  21. 21. … and find fishing impact H=0.4 Impact=0 H=0.9 Impact=Low
  22. 22. Low Diversity High Scatter plots High Low Fishing impact
  23. 23. High impact → Low diversity High Low Fishing impact Low Diversity High Scatter plots
  24. 24. High Scatter plots Low Diversity Low impact → High diversity High Low Fishing impact
  25. 25. High Scatter plots Low Diversity ? High Low Fishing impact
  26. 26. Diversity Scatter plots – detecting patterns Fishing impact
  27. 27. Diversity Scatter plots – detecting patterns Fishing impact
  28. 28. Scatter plots – detecting patterns Inverse correlation No correlation
  29. 29. Diversity and fishing impact Weakly negative impact
  30. 30. Are all sites directly comparable? • Sites with rocks have different species composition to those with only sand & mud • Impact of fishing may be different for these habitats Most soft corals are permanently attached to rock Many soft sediment species can bury themselves in the sand/mud
  31. 31. Different response of habitats
  32. 32. Habitats differ by environment too
  33. 33. What effects diversity? Muddy seabed: ● Fishing impact Rocky seabed: ● Depth ● Salinity ● Slope ● Temperature
  34. 34. Conclusions • Benthic (seabed) habitats in Greenland are diverse • Rocky and muddy seabeds are home to different species • Rocky habitats have seen lower fishing impact and seem less disturbed by fishing activities • Muddy habitats may be negatively impacted by fishing
  35. 35. Thanks • At IOZ –Kirsty Kemp –Irina Chemshirova –Poppy Simon • Others –Sustainable Fisheries Greenland –Peder Munk Pedersen –Greenland institute of natural resources –Nanette Hammeken –Martin Blicher

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