Request from HELCOM for ICES to review the BalticBOOST WP3.2 tool to assess the impact of fisheries on seafloor habitats
ICES organized three independent reviews to be undertaken on HELCOM's project BalticBOOST WP3.2 "Tool" to assess the impact of fisheries on seafloor habitats. The Tool's aim is to enable HELCOM to assess the effects of fishing with mobile bottom contacting gear on benthic species and habitats in the Baltic Sea, taking into account the HELCOM classification scheme of biotopes, biotope complexes, and habitats in the Baltic Sea (HELCOM BSEP 139). In addition to producing a Tool, the BalticBOOST's
... roject WP3.2 was also tasked to produce a detailed inventory and description of the interactions with benthic habitats/species of the Baltic Sea when fishing with mobile bottom-contacting gears. The reviews are included in unchanged form, apart from some formatting and minor corrections. For consistency "seabed" has been replaced throughout with "seafloor".The three reviewers were asked to examine three key underlying questions:1. Have appropriate scientific methodologies been applied?2. Can the outputs of BalticBOOST WP3.2 be used as a management tool to assess fisheries impacts on the seafloor in the Baltic Sea?3. Which modifications, if any, are required in the future to ensure that the developed tool can be used for management purposes?The reviews are based on a draft received 28 October 2016 of "BalticBOOST Fisheries Impact Evaluation Tool (FIT) with Application to Assess the Bottom Fishing Footprint in Western Baltic Sea (ICES Subdivisions 22-24)"