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Since 1996, scientists at the Alaska Fisheries Science Centerís Auke Bay Laboratory (ABL) have been conducting research on the effects of fishing gear on benthic habitat. Most of the research has focused on the effects of bottom trawls. The use of bottom trawls is one of the more controversial fishing methods due to documented changes in species composition and diversity and a reduction in habitat complexity associated with this gear type.
The ABL studies provide information for developing
appropriate measures for minimizing adverse impacts of fishing on habitat,
as required in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management
Research has focused on
This article provides an overview of research on benthic habitat conducted by the ABLs Groundfish Assessment Program in collaboration with scientists from several universities and other government agencies.
Auke Bay Lab