Distribution and intensity of bottom trawl fisheries in the Patagonian Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem and its relationship with marine fronts
ALEMANY, D.; ACHA, E. M.; IRIBARNE, O.
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2016 vol. 25 p. 183 - 192
Trawling is a major concern worldwide and there is considerable debate about its impact on marine ecosystems. The Patagonian Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (PSLME) is an important fishing area in the Southwest Atlantic where bottom trawling is the dominant fishing method. We investigated the distribution of bottom trawl fishing within this region, defining the areas of highest trawling intensity (hotspots) and evaluating their relationship with marine fronts. We focused on the three main oceanographic fronts, the shelf-break front, the southern Patagonia front and the mid-shelf front. To estimate fishing effort and trawled areas, we used VMS data from 2006 to 2012. Despite being almost a fully trawlable shelf, we found that the spatial distribution of trawling activity is patchy and trawling hotspots were small, comprising annually