This paper presents a framework to assess and quantify the likely cumulative impact on potential VMEs from bottom fishing activity. The approach has been designed to facilitate standardized application across gear types and areas to allow comparisons between fisheries employing different bottom impacting fishing methods. Details of the New Zealand preliminary assessment using this framework are available in document CCAMLR XXVII-26. This paper illustrates the utility of the standardized approach and provides a methodological template for possible wider adoption within CCAMLR or elsewhere. Specific examples from the New Zealand assessment are provided for illustrative purposes.
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