Interactions between Seals and Commercial Fisheries in the North-East Atlantic

15-02-2002

Executive summary The full report identifies the most important interactions between seals and commercial fisheries in the North-East Atlantic Ocean (including the North and Baltic Seas), summarises information on the abundance and diet of the three most numerous seal species, describes the status of fish stocks that are believed to interact with these population either directly or indirectly, and reviews the methods that have been used to analyse the interactions between seals and fisheries. Interactions between seals and fisheries can be divided into two categories: direct interactions, in which seals remove or damage fish from fishing gear, or seals die after because they have become caught in fishing gear; and indirect interactions, in which seals and fishers appear to be competitors for the same resource. The most important interactions in the area covered by this report are: • Grey seals and cod in the North Sea; • Grey seals, harbour seals and Atlantic salmon in the North-East Atlantic; • Grey seals and salmon and whitefish fisheries in the Baltic Sea; • Grey seals and monkfish in the Celtic and Irish Seas and off South-West England. The first of these is an indirect interaction. All of the others are, primarily, direct interactions.

Executive summary The full report identifies the most important interactions between seals and commercial fisheries in the North-East Atlantic Ocean (including the North and Baltic Seas), summarises information on the abundance and diet of the three most numerous seal species, describes the status of fish stocks that are believed to interact with these population either directly or indirectly, and reviews the methods that have been used to analyse the interactions between seals and fisheries. Interactions between seals and fisheries can be divided into two categories: direct interactions, in which seals remove or damage fish from fishing gear, or seals die after because they have become caught in fishing gear; and indirect interactions, in which seals and fishers appear to be competitors for the same resource. The most important interactions in the area covered by this report are: • Grey seals and cod in the North Sea; • Grey seals, harbour seals and Atlantic salmon in the North-East Atlantic; • Grey seals and salmon and whitefish fisheries in the Baltic Sea; • Grey seals and monkfish in the Celtic and Irish Seas and off South-West England. The first of these is an indirect interaction. All of the others are, primarily, direct interactions.

Auteur externe

J. HARWOOD and M. WALTON (NERC, Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom)