Mobile bottom-contact fishing severely impacts the structure and stability of marine sediments and can induce temporary and permanent alterations of the sea floor. The aim of WP 1 is the representation and assessment of the sedimentological status within the three Natura 2000 sites. In addition, future developments after fishing exclusion should be predicted.
Thus, the WP deals with the following questions 1) What are the natural sediment and morphodynamics in the areas? 2) What is the impact of mobile bottom-contact fishing? 3) Is it possible to quantify and assess the physical stress induced by mobile bottom-contact fishing? 4) How long does the anthropogenic impact (e.g. trawl marks) last? 5) Is the seafloor irreversibly impacted? 6) What is the connection between sediments, benthos and fish in areas with severe and without impact of mobile bottom-contact fishing?
The study sites within the Nature 2000 areas will be mapped with hydroacoustic methodologies in high temporal and spatial resolution.
Appropriate assessments of seafloor changes in relation to fishing exclusions can only be determined on the long-run to allow reliable conclusions. Thus, it is intended to develop and install a universal, autonomous observation system that should survey the impacts of mobile bottom-contact fishing and the results of the planned exclusion.