Fisheries and their Ecosystems
Thinking beyond fish stocks to the effects of fishing on the marine environment is ongoing work for scientists in New Zealand.Understanding the way marine ecosystems are structured is essential if we are to minimise the impact of fishing on species that fishers don’t catch intentionally, such as benthic (bottomdwelling) creatures, marine mammals or seabirds. Some significant projects have taken place in the past two years to explore seabed habitats in different areas of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Ministry has also been leading a high profile project for International Polar Year to look at biodiversity in different parts of the Ross Sea. And work to find ways of reducing the impact that fishing may have on other creatures that share the sea, be it in New Zealand’s EEZ or the Ross Sea, is also underway.