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Impact of bottom trawling on deep-sea sediment properties in the Catalan margin (northwestern Mediterranean)

AutorPuig, Pere ; Martín, Jacobo ; Masqué, Pere; Pusceddu, Antonio; Bianchelli, S.; Sánchez-Gómez, A.; Palanques, Albert ; Danovaro, Roberto
Fecha de publicación18-nov-2014
Citación2nd International Ocean Research Conference (2014)
ResumenThe offshore displacement of commercial bottom trawling has raised concerns about the impact of this fishing practice on the deep seafloor. This study focuses on the analysis of sedimentological and geochemical properties and meiofauna characteristics from sediment cores obtained in La Fonera (or Palamós) submarine canyon (northwestern Mediterranean), where an intensive bottom trawl fishery has been active during several decades in the 400-800 m depth range. Sediments in most trawled sites were notably altered compared to control (untrawled) sites, with higher bulk densities and lower 210Pb surface concentrations and inventories that indicate widespread erosion caused by trawling gears. Chronically trawled sediments were also characterized by significant decreases in organic matter content (up to 50%), slower organic carbon turnover (ca. 35%), and reduced meiofauna abundance (80%), biodiversity (50%), and nematode species richness (25%). Additionally, sediment cores collected along the main canyon axis, deeper than the fishing grounds, revealed a notable increase in the sediment accumulation rates since the late seventies, associated to the delivery of sediment resuspended by trawlers and to the rapid technical development of the trawling fleet at that time. This shift in the sedimentary regime during the seventies has been also observed in sediment cores collected in the axis of other trawled submarine canyons along the Catalan margin. These results evidence that commercial bottom trawling can alter the present-day sediment dynamics and budgets on continental margins, causing the degradation of deep-sea sedimentary habitats, and represent a major threat to the deep seafloor ecosystem at the global scale
Descripción2nd International Ocean Research Conference, One planet one ocean, 17-21 November 2014, Barcelona, Spain
Versión del editorhttp://www.iocunesco-oneplanetoneocean.fnob.org/
Aparece en las colecciones: (ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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