Area of seabed trawled by BOMEC habitat classes (1990–2011)
New Zealand's Environment Reporting Series: The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand
Seabed trawling and dredging (where fishing gear is towed near or along the ocean floor) can physically damage seabed (benthic) habitats and species. These fishing methods can also stir up sediment from the seabed, creating sediment plumes that can smother sensitive species. Recovery times for affected habitats and species depend on their sensitivity and the area affected by trawling or dredging. Bottom trawling is carried out on or near the seabed in both shallow and deep waters. Dredging is carried out on the seabed in shallow waters and targets marine creatures such as scallops. This measure focuses on deepwater areas (waters deeper than 200m).