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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 609:277-282 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12834

OPINION PIECE
We can reduce the impact of scientific trawling on marine ecosystems

V. M. Trenkel1,*, S. Vaz2, C. Albouy1, A. Brind’Amour1, E. Duhamel3, P. Laffargue1, J. B. Romagnan1, J. Simon3, P. Lorance1

1Ifremer, 44311 Nantes Cedex 3, France
2MARBEC, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, 34203 Sète Cedex, France
3Ifremer, 56100 Lorient, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The negative impacts that scientific monitoring may have on marine ecosystems has been a neglected topic, mainly on the basis that its magnitude is minor compared to commercial fisheries, even though this raises ethical and, in certain cases, conservation issues. We argue that ethical principles should lead us to reconsider marine wildlife resource monitoring such as the fish and shellfish trawl surveys providing the science-based evidence needed for fisheries management and assessment of how environmental change affects marine shelf communities worldwide. Recent scientific and technological progress has provided methods and tools which might now be harnessed to reduce the impact of marine monitoring. We review these alternative methods, consider modifications to current practices and identify areas requiring further research.


KEY WORDS: Monitoring ethics · Marine surveying · Impacts of bottom trawling · Genetic methods · Ecosystem-based management


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Cite this article as: Trenkel VM, Vaz S, Albouy C, Brind’Amour A and others (2019) We can reduce the impact of scientific trawling on marine ecosystems. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 609:277-282. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12834

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