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Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat
dependent distribution approaches for designating EFH and HAPC; and
collection and analysis of data on the social and economic characteristics of trawl, dredge, and nonmobile gear fisheries to assess the tradeoffs among various management alternatives.
Integration of available data on the effects of trawling and dredging, fishing effort, and the distribution of seafloor habitats can provide a starting point for practical initial evaluations that will inform management decisions. Management measures should be assessed regularly to provide better information about how various restrictions affect fish stocks and habitats and to determine the socioeconomic effects on the fishing industry and fishing communities.
However, existing data are not sufficient to optimize the spatial and temporal distribution of trawling and dredging to protect habitat and sustain fishery yields. Resolution of the different, and at times conflicting, ecological and socioeconomic goals will require not only a better understanding of the relevant ecosystems and fisheries, but also more effective interaction among stakeholders.