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Vessel monitoring systems as a tool for mapping fishing effort for a small inshore fishery operating within a marine protected area

Vessel monitoring systems as a tool for mapping fishing effort for a small inshore fishery operating within a marine protected area
Vessel monitoring systems as a tool for mapping fishing effort for a small inshore fishery operating within a marine protected area
Robust, quantified evidence of spatial and temporal patterns of inshore fishing activity is required to assist management in the face of a growing number of marine protected area (MPA) designations. Vessel monitoring system (VMS) technology has provided such data for the offshore fleet but has yet to be studied in relation to the inshore fleet. This study tested the effectiveness of VMS on quantifying fishing activity for a near inshore fishery, comprised solely of <12 m vessels, operating within the Poole Harbour MPA (Dorset, UK). VMS data were collected from up to three vessels between 2012–2013 and 2014–2015. Analysis using GIS allowed spatial and temporal comparisons of fishing effort down to 250 m2 and enabled activity to be overlaid with MPA features. A 10-min reporting interval was determined suitable for quantifying fishing effort at the operational scale of this <12 m fleet. Results showed a decline in overall fishing effort in 2014 and mixed seasonal usage of four defined areas of the Harbour. Fishing effort intensity was lowest during November to February, coinciding with the period of greatest sensitivity for designated features of the MPA and no active fishing was detected within defined sensitive areas for these features. It is concluded that VMS data can be used successfully on the <12 m inshore sector, over small spatial scales, to quantify patterns of activity and detect overlap with MPA features. VMS should be used to create high confidence datasets for the inshore sector that assist in the development of evidence-based, rather than precautionary, management.
Fisheries management, Fishing effort, Inshore fisheries, Marine protected areas, UK fisheries, Vessel monitoring system
0308-597X
Birchenough, Sarah Elizabeth
811a5caa-54e8-4ad7-92a7-2a70f30a2d8b
Cooper, Patrick Arthur
39d5721d-b0ac-4809-b017-864ca224f03e
Jensen, Antony Charles
ff1cabd2-e6fa-4e34-9a39-5097e2bc5f85
Birchenough, Sarah Elizabeth
811a5caa-54e8-4ad7-92a7-2a70f30a2d8b
Cooper, Patrick Arthur
39d5721d-b0ac-4809-b017-864ca224f03e
Jensen, Antony Charles
ff1cabd2-e6fa-4e34-9a39-5097e2bc5f85

Birchenough, Sarah Elizabeth, Cooper, Patrick Arthur and Jensen, Antony Charles (2021) Vessel monitoring systems as a tool for mapping fishing effort for a small inshore fishery operating within a marine protected area. Marine Policy, 124, [104325]. (doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104325).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Robust, quantified evidence of spatial and temporal patterns of inshore fishing activity is required to assist management in the face of a growing number of marine protected area (MPA) designations. Vessel monitoring system (VMS) technology has provided such data for the offshore fleet but has yet to be studied in relation to the inshore fleet. This study tested the effectiveness of VMS on quantifying fishing activity for a near inshore fishery, comprised solely of <12 m vessels, operating within the Poole Harbour MPA (Dorset, UK). VMS data were collected from up to three vessels between 2012–2013 and 2014–2015. Analysis using GIS allowed spatial and temporal comparisons of fishing effort down to 250 m2 and enabled activity to be overlaid with MPA features. A 10-min reporting interval was determined suitable for quantifying fishing effort at the operational scale of this <12 m fleet. Results showed a decline in overall fishing effort in 2014 and mixed seasonal usage of four defined areas of the Harbour. Fishing effort intensity was lowest during November to February, coinciding with the period of greatest sensitivity for designated features of the MPA and no active fishing was detected within defined sensitive areas for these features. It is concluded that VMS data can be used successfully on the <12 m inshore sector, over small spatial scales, to quantify patterns of activity and detect overlap with MPA features. VMS should be used to create high confidence datasets for the inshore sector that assist in the development of evidence-based, rather than precautionary, management.

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Manuscript Proof_Birchenough et al 2021 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 November 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 December 2020
Published date: 1 February 2021
Keywords: Fisheries management, Fishing effort, Inshore fisheries, Marine protected areas, UK fisheries, Vessel monitoring system

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446940
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446940
ISSN: 0308-597X
PURE UUID: 7be670d3-2ef1-48bc-a70e-299722a01548

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Date deposited: 26 Feb 2021 17:33
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 17:47

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Author: Patrick Arthur Cooper

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