Seabed Habitats

Fishing methods which involve equipment contacting the seabed can impact on benthic habitat and the organisms which live there. Bottom trawling and dredging are the methods which have the most impacts on the seafloor. Dredging is considered more destructive to the seabed in the localised areas where it occurs. For example, between 2008 and 2012 just under half the total area of seafloor shallower than 250 metres was trawled (and areatotalling 113,800km2). 4472 The trawl footprint is greater in deepwater areas totalling 347,290 km2 between 1989-90 and 2012-13, which is just under a quarter of the deep seabed area available for trawling. 4473 Other methods, which involve the use of equipment on the seabed, include seining, long lining and potting, although the effects are significantly less than those caused by dredging and trawling. 

  1. Baird S J, J E Hewitt and B A Wood, 2005, Benthic habitat classes and trawl fishing disturbance in New Zealand waters shallower than 250 m, New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report, No. 144

  2. Black J and R Tilney, 2017, Monitoring New Zealand’s trawl footprint for deepwater fisheries: 1989-90 to 2012-13, New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report, No 176

Last updated at 3:04PM on November 23, 2017