Study

Changes in the demersal fish assemblage in the south-eastern North Sea following the establishment of a protected area (“plaice box”)

  • Published source details Piet G.J. & Rijnsdorp A.D. (1998) Changes in the demersal fish assemblage in the south-eastern North Sea following the establishment of a protected area (“plaice box”). ICES Journal of Marine Science, 55, 420-429.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Limit fishing activity by vessel size and/or engine power

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Limit fishing activity by vessel size and/or engine power

    A before-and-after study in 1985–1994 of an extensive area of seabed in the North Sea, northern Europe (Piet & Rijnsdorp 1998) found that excluding fishing vessels (large beam trawlers) with an engine power >221kW from an area for six months a year resulted in increased abundance of commercially targeted but not non-commercially targeted fish over five years, and of two of eight size-groups for both commercial and non-commercial fish overall. In the period after the exclusion (1989–1994), there was no difference in the total abundance of non-commercially targeted fish compared to the period before (1985–1988) (data reported as statistical results). However, total abundance of commercial fish was higher. Numbers of two of eight size groups for both commercial (30–35 and 35–40 cm) and non-commercial fish (25–30 and 30–35 cm) increased after compared to before (see original paper for data/size group). In 1989, an area of 42,000 km2 in the eastern North Sea (“plaice box”) was closed to vessels >221kW engine power from April-September. Fishing with other gear types of <221kW engine power was permitted. Data were collected from beam trawl surveys (8 m beam, eight tickler chains, 40 mm mesh codend) in July-September each year. Trawls were towed for 30 minutes at 4 knots in the periods before (1985–1988) and after (1989–1994) the exclusion.

    (Summarised by: Natasha Taylor)

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