Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New York
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New York Project

Managing for long term sustainability of seafood production from bottomtendered wild capture fisheries: evaluating tradeoffs between spatial closures versus gear modification

September 2016 - January 2022


Participating Agencies

  • Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

Approximately 20% of global seafood derives from trawl based commercial fisheries. While efficient, these gears have potential to contact and impact benthic ecosystems. In this collaboration spanning USGS, Cornell, Alaska Pacific University, and fishing stakeholders, we are developing seascape scale habitat impact models to support commercial fisheries gear management. The models can be used to evaluate potential gear modifications or spatial closures to reduce habitat impacts from fishing gear, providing a decision support tool to accompany fisheries policy at State, Federal, and global scales. Results from this project address a priority information need identified by the US Fishery Management Council, and modeling results are informing fisheries management options to conserve benthic ecosystems globally. As of 2019, our model had been adopted as a decision support tool by the North Pacific U.S. Federal Fisheries Council, and our model is currently under development for use by the New England Fishery Management Council.