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Energy, Climate change, Environment

Fishery Impacts


This challenge aimed to produce map layers showing the extent of the fisheries impact, trawlers, on the sea-floor (gridded data), to assess whether the available marine data sets at that time* were available and appropriate to the use case, as well as to indicate gaps in the  EU data collection framework.


The Fishery Impact challenge attempted to create gridded data layers which showed the extent of fisheries impact on the sea floor using the available habitats  and VMS data:

Product 1: Area where bottom habitat has been disturbed by bottom trawling

Data from a number of different sources had been integrated to provide new perspectives on fishing activities. Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) recorded and transmitted the position and speed of fishing vessels at intervals of two hours or less. Fishing time was then  calculated from the VMS data and was combined with vessel logbook data, maps of fishing effort and intensity at different spatial and temporal scales so that it could be  calculated for the various fisheries which were known to impact the seabed. The statistical software package “R” was used to extract the required information from the VMS data. The data could be re-interrogated to produce monthly maps on effort or intensity.

Product 2: Damage to sea floor to both living and non-living components

The impact of fishing on benthic habitats had previously been investigated, however a conclusive classification of potentially sensitive habitats per gear type did not exist. At that time*only qualitative estimates of fishery impact using broad-scale habitat maps were possible. Here, a sensitivity matrix using both fishing pressure and habitat sensitivity was employed to define pressure categories. A matrix-approach used to combine sensitivity and pressure was used to predict disturbance.

Team involved

Marine Institute

Data Availability

Data related to fishing activity are deemed as sensitive by Member States, resulting in various data sets requiring specific permission to acquire and use as end products.

Access to challenge products

The challenge partners ("the producers") were commissioned to perform a number of tests to evaluate marine data according to set user requirements. The table below enables:

  • to discover :
    - the Data Product Specifications (DPS) which describe data products in terms of user requirements according to ISO19131 principles and provide the basis for the quantitative assessment of the Products (Quality measures and scope of application)  and of the Upstream Data sets supplied to- and used by- the challenges to create them.
    - the Results (TDP) which describe the Data Product created together with the quantitative assessments (Quality measures and indicators) and the expert opinion.
  • to download the products (shapefile, excel, pdf) on an "as is" basis. All downloads suppose acceptance of the use limitations described in the “Expert opinion” and the “Legal constraints” accessible using the  link to the Results.
  • to view the spatial data products (Maps) using a webGIS.

    Data product were scored by experts from 1 to 5, resp. inadequate to excellent. The score is mentioned in the last column. “Good” means the Product was achieved to at least 50% of the requirements. “Inadequate” means “Impossible to produce or fails to meet all the objectives (not usable)”.