[MARMAM] New Publication: Effects of time-area closures on the distribution of snow crab fishing effort with respect to entanglement threat to North Atlantic right whales

Alexandra Cole alexandrac at cwf-fcf.org
Wed Jun 9 05:54:52 PDT 2021

Dear MARMAM community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announced our recent publication in ICES Journal of Marine Science:

Cole, A.K., Brillant, S.W., & Boudreau, S.A. (2021). Effects of time-area closures on the distribution of snow crab fishing effort with respect to entanglement threat to North Atlantic right whales. ICES Journal of Marine Science. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsab103

Time-area closures are increasingly used to mitigate cetacean entanglement by temporarily excluding fishing effort from areas where high densities of cetaceans and fishing overlap. The effort displaced by these closures can be redistributed to the areas that remain open, changing the distribution and density of fishing effort outside the closures. These patterns were evaluated for the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery by comparing recent years (2015-2017) with 2018 when time-area closures were implemented to protect North Atlantic right whales. A predictive model framework was created to test how well we could predict the response of fishers to closures. Approximately 29% of the total fishing effort was displaced by the 2018 closures, increasing effort density outside the closures by 41%. Displaced fishing effort shifted farther from the closures than predicted, into areas which, prior to 2018, had low effort density, producing a higher threat of entanglement in these new areas. Fishing effort in 2018 remained as high as 2017, despite a lower quota and reduced trap limit. Consequently, the resulting effects of time-area closures on fishing patterns outside of the closures cannot be discounted if entanglement threat to whales is to be successfully mitigated.

The full text can be accessed at: https://academic.oup.com/icesjms/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/icesjms/fsab103/6294923

Please reach out to me at alexandrac at cwf-fcf.org<mailto:alexandrac at cwf-fcf.org> if you have any questions.


Alex Cole, MMM
Fisheries Management Evaluation Specialist

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Dalhousie University | Department of Oceanography
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