An evaluation of the Emerald/Western Bank juvenile haddock closed area

  • Published source details Frank K.T., Shackell N.L. & Simon J.E. (2000) An evaluation of the Emerald/Western Bank juvenile haddock closed area. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 57, 1023-1034.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit mobile fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species and are dragged across the seafloor

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit mobile fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species and are dragged across the seafloor

    A before-and-after, site comparison study in 1970–1994 of two areas on the Scotian Shelf, northwest Atlantic Ocean, Canada (Frank et al. 2000) found that closure of a haddock nursery area to mobile bottom (groundfish) fishing activity did not increase the survival or recruitment of young haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus in the seven years after compared to before, and compared to a fished area. Average rate of haddock survival to age two was lower in the closed area in the period after closure compared to before, but it did not differ in the fished area (data presented as survival index). Conversely, trends in haddock recruitment at age two before and after the closure were similar in both areas. Authors noted possible causes for the effect, including continued fishing in the closure area by fixed gears, and biological and environmental factors. In 1987, a haddock nursery area on the Emerald and Western Banks (4,000 nm2) was permanently closed to mobile groundfish fishing activity, whilst fixed gears were permitted until 1993 when the area was closed to all fishing including fixed gear. The closed area was 13% of the total area of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization haddock management unit Division 4VW. This unit was compared with a neighbouring fished area without a closure (4X). Haddock numbers and age data for the years 1970–1994 were taken from annual July research vessel surveys in the two areas.

    (Summarised by: Natasha Taylor)

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