Swept Area Ration and interannual Variation (2012-2016)

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          Ulrike Kleeberg
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          HZG Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
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          Rabea Diekmann
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              Swept Area Ration and interannual Variation (2012-2016)
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                  2018-02-05
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                  Rabea Diekmann
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                  Thünen Institut
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                          Herwigstraße 31
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                          Bremerhaven
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                          Bremen
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                          Rabea.Diekmann@ti.bund.de
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      abstract: 
          The footprint of bottom trawling was estimated from Vessel monitoring by satellite (VMS) data, linked to the 
          corresponding logbook information (German fleet) or the European fleet register (international fleet), 
          respectively. It is quantified as annual swept area ratio, which is the ratio between the cumulative area 
          touched by trawls and the size of the respective grid cell (0.05°*0.05°). Thus, a swept area ratio of 1 
          means that an area equivalent to the size of the grid cell was fished over one year. We considered the 
          gear-specific footprints of four major gear groups: otter trawls, demersal seines, beam trawls and dredges. 
          Further the swept area ratio is averaged over a period from 2012-2016 and thus represents the overall 
          picture of fishing pressure to the seafloor in those years.The second map illustrates the coefficient of 
          variation of annual swept area ratios from 2012-2016. It thus corresponds to the map “Footprint of bottom 
          trawling in the German EEZ of the North Sea (2012-2016)” and represents the interannual variation in fishing 
          pressure by bottom trawling.
      purpose: 
          Footprint of bottom trawling in the German EEZ of the North Sea (2012-2016) and interannual variation in the 
          footprint of bottom trawling in the German EEZ of the North Sea (2012-2016)
      credit: 
          Thünen Institute (TI)
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              Rabea Diekmann
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              Thünen Institut
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                      Herwigstraße 31
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                      Bremerhaven
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                      Bremen
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                      27572
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                      DE
                  electronicMailAddress: 
                      Rabea.Diekmann@ti.bund.de
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              Swept Area Ratio
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              The swept area ratio can only be an approximate value to quantify the pressure of bottom trawling on the 
              seafloor. The map should be interpreted together with information about the interannual variation (CV).
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          statement: 
              The swept area ratio was calculated with data from three different sources: The Vessel Monitoring by 
              Satellite (VMS), German logbook data and the European Fleet Register 
              (http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/fleet/index.cfm). Within the German EEZ, VMS data from all vessels larger 
              than 12m length is accessible (since 2012). In order to distinguish between gear types, either logbook 
              information or the primary gear of each ship was taken from the fleet register as well as ship length 
              and engine power. VMS-data were analysed using the VMStools package (Hintzen et al., 2012), which is 
              available as add-on package for the R software (R Core Team 2013), and only position data, which were 
              associated to fishing activities were used in the mapping process. Notes and Limitations: The swept area 
              ratio can only be an approximate value to quantify the pressure of bottom trawling on the seafloor. 
              First of all, calculations were based on the assumption that all vessels, where logbook information was 
              missing, used exclusively their primary gear listed in the fleet register. Because gear designs differ 
              not only in their size, which is considered as gear width, but also in their bottom contact (e.g. by 
              tickler chains), the physical trawling impact is not equivalent to the swept area ratio. Further, the 
              swept area is not equivalent to the proportion of the cell that was impacted by the gear (unless fishing 
              tracks do not overlap at all). Here data were averaged over a period of five years (2012-2016). Any 
              long-term changes, such as area closures due to construction of offshore windfarms, may be not yet 
              visible. The map should be interpreted together with information about the interannual variation (CV).
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