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Fisheries Impacts on Marine Protected Habitats – A Review of the Evidence (NEER023)

The literature synthesis contained in this report were produced by Natural England as part of a project commissioned by Defra’s Marine Biodiversity Impacts Evidence Group. Its purpose is to support the assessment and management of commercial fishing in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), providing evidence summaries to inform Habitat Regulations and Marine Conservation Zone Assessments. Terminology and definitions used in them were standardised to ensure consistency between this report and Natural England’s formal MPA Conservation Advice Packages. The standardisation covers categorisation of habitats and fishing gears and structures the reviews in accordance with key pressures these gears exert upon marine habitats. Natural England has endeavoured to use the best available evidence and, where possible, the report also highlights key evidence gaps and limitations. The scale and significance of the impacts are dependent upon the gear used and its interaction with the habitat. Variables such as footprint of interaction, longevity of interaction and habitat recovery times are important factors determining overall impact. Thus, whilst this report should aid MPA assessments, site specific evidence and advice must be consulted to inform HRAs and subsequent fisheries management decisions. This report is part of a project commissioned by the Marine Biodiversity Impacts Evidence Group to create a database with records detailing the available evidence on fisheries impacts on MPA features. This database will be published and made available to the public soon.

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NEER023 Edition 1 Fisheries Impacts on Marine Protected Habitats A Review of the Evidence, PDF, 1.1 MB 2023/02/22

Related Access to Evidence records

NEER029 Fisheries Impacts Evidence Database Project Methodology Report (NEER029)