Scientists have for the first time estimated the physical footprint of human activities on the deep seafloor of the North East Atlantic. Science Daily reports that the findings, published in the journal PLoS ONE, reveal that the area disturbed by bottom trawling commercial fishing fleets exceeds the combined physical footprint of other major human activities considered.
In a separate study, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research has also released findings showing damage from fishing vessels. The institute reports that video taken during its MAREANO field project to study the seabed in Norwegian waters shows the effects immediately after a trawl has passed: sediments stirred up, lack of fauna in the trawl path, to habitat damage. The project also noted widespread traces of bottom trawling traces during the survey: at 93% of the locations visited trawl marks were found.