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    Method for rapidly assessing spatial scale of interactions of fishing gear with habitats and Antarctic marine living resources

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    WG-FSA-15/62 Rev. 1
    A. Constable, M. Sumner, J. Melbourne-Thomas and D. Welsford (Australia)
    Submitted By:
    Dr Andrew Constable (Australia)

    In 2014, the Scientific Committee noted that it needed to develop advice routinely on the potential impacts on dependent and related species for proposed exploratory fisheries and requested working groups consider how to report on these issues, which also form part of the review procedures under Conservation Measure 22-06 and 22-07. It requested Members to submit analyses for consideration.  Here, we present (i) a method for automating these requirements irrespective of the data layers being used, and (ii) examples on how to report rapid assessments of interactions with ecological features, using  bottom fishing on benthic habitats in East Antarctica.  The assessment method has (i) an overall process for reporting on interactions of fishing with ecological features, (ii) an automated process for determining boundaries of independent patches of each class of an ecological feature, (iii) a procedure for assessing interactions of fishing within cells of a patch, (iv) aggregate measures of interactions with classes of ecological features within reporting areas, and (v) a plotting method to support assessment of interactions.