Effects of Demersal Otter Trawls on the Re-suspension of Copepod Resting Eggs and its Potential Effects on Recruitment

Benni Winding Hansen, Guillaume Drillet, G Hay, F.G. O'Neill

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Resting eggs are important phases in the life strategy of many coastal and estuarine copepods. The egg mortality in the sediment layers where they are buried, as well as re-suspension from the sediment into the water column
where eggs may hatch are factors that affect the success of this life strategy. Considering that fishing effort in some coastal areas is high and trawling leads to re-suspension of the bottom sediments, it is important to understand
these effects on the biology of organisms that utilize sediment habitats in part of their life cycle.
This study examined the re-suspension and the hatching success of copepod resting eggs in the wake of two different demersal fishing gear components (doors and discs) that are in contact with the seabed, in two areas off
the coast of Scotland that are rarely worked by fishermen. Sediment cores were taken and analysed for resting eggs quantity and hatching performance and compared with samples taken in the water column right after re-suspension of sediment by the gear components. This study demonstrated for the first time that although eggs are re-suspended in the water column together with the sediment, providing them with the opportunity to hatch and recruit nauplii to
the pelagic, egg viability was reduced by the passage of the gear components. This study also suggests that the viability is dependent on the gear component and accordingly potential effects must be considered for at this level.
TidsskriftJournal of Fisheries and Livestock Production
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 15 jun. 2014

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