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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Bottom-Disturbing Fishing Gear

Marine Fisheries

Bottom-Disturbing Fishing Gear

Habitats Affected: Shell bottom, SAV, soft bottom, ocean hard bottom, water column

Common Sources: (See table below)

Fishing gear

Water column

Shell bottom

SAV

Soft bottom

Hard bottom

Bay scallop dredge

Low/unsure

Low/unsure

Low/unsure

   

Bull rake

 

Low/unsure Severe    

Clam hand rake

 

Low/unsure

Low/unsure

   

Clam tongs

 

Low/unsure

Moderate

   

Clam trawl (kicking)

Low/unsure

Moderate

Severe

Low/unsure

 

Crab dredge

Low/unsure

Moderate

Severe

Low/unsure

Low/unsure

Crab trawl

Low/unsure

Moderate

Moderate

Low/unsure

Low/unsure

Hydraulic clam dredge

Low/unsure

Moderate

Severe

Low/unsure

 

Long haul seine

 

Low/unsure

Low/unsure

   

Oyster dredge

Low/unsure

Moderate

Severe

Low/unsure

 

Pots

   

Low/unsure

 

Low/unsure

Shrimp trawl

Low/unsure

Moderate

Low/unsure

Low/unsure

Low/unsure


Impacts:

  • Mobile bottom-disturbing gears dig down into the bottom and uproot SAV.
  • Hard bottom and shell bottom structure can be broken apart, killing organisms and reducing habitat value.
  • The vertical profile of subtidal oyster reefs can be lowered, making the shell bottom community more susceptible to low oxygen events.
  • Elevated turbidity can degrade water column, SAV, shell botttom, or hard bottom habitat, depending on the frequency and intensity.
  • Disturbance of soft bottom habitat can alter productivity of benthic microalgae and reduce structural complexity of the bottom. 

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-2632

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