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Assessing the physical impact of seining gear on protected features in UK waters - ME6015

Demersal seine netting is an active fishing method by which two long seine ropes and a seine net are deployed in a specific pattern encircling an area on the seabed. Two forms are most commonly used in UK waters; Danish seining (or anchor seining) and Scottish seining (or fly-shooting/fly-dragging), however pair seining is also used in some areas. Based on the current evidence, it is generally assumed that the impact of demersal seines on sedimentary habitats is much reduced when compared to more penetrative demersal fishing gears. However, there remains uncertainty as to the extent to which demersal seining may affect the structure and functioning of sedimentary habitats and the long-term survival of their associated species. This limits understanding of how impacts of seine gears can be managed in the marine environment, specifically within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

The project will improve understanding of seine fisheries and the impacts on seabed habitats and will be applicable to relevant habitats within UK waters. The final report will provide:
• A clear description of the types of demersal seine gear, the types of benthic habitats that they operate over and the species that are targeted;
• A description of the spatial scale of seine fisheries in relation to the size of seabed habitat features;
• Assessments of the impacts of demersal seining on seabed habitats and an assessment of their sensitivity to support marine management decisions; and
• An evaluation of the scale of disturbance to benthic habitats from natural sources such as wave action, to determine if the likely scale of seine fisheries is significant.
Project Documents
• TPS - Two Page Summary : Initial 2 page summary- ME6015   (504k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2018

To: 2020

Cost: £30,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Marine Biological Association
Marine Life              
Marine Sediments              
Natural Environment