NOAA 2002-R146
Contact: Connie Barclay
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), an agency of the Commerce Department, and their partners are hosting a symposium on the effects of fishing activities on ocean bottoms, November 12-14 in Tampa, Fla. More than 200 agency managers, scientists and fishing industry representatives from 16 countries are expected to attend.

“Our mission lends itself very well to the theme of this symposium since one of our most important goals is to help ensure sustainable fisheries and healthy, diverse ecosystems,” said Dr. Bill Hogarth, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “We need to gain and share as much information as we can for managing fish activities that effect our oceans and their abilities to sustain fish for the future. Scientists have unanswered questions about the long term effects fishing has on ocean life.”

A recent National Research Council report requested by NOAA affirmed that fishing activities such as bottom trawling can have adverse effects on sensitive bottom habitats.

NOAA Fisheries is conducting research to examine the potential for fishing gear modifications and new fishing techniques to minimize harm to the oceans’ bottoms. Also, scientists are studying ways to lesson the impact on the ocean from commercial fishing, and are looking at ways to help fishers retain their livelihoods.

The conference is designed to facilitate communications between NOAA Fisheries scientists/researchers and others with an interest in fishing and the ocean ecosystem. Subjects and discussions will include seabed mapping, linking fisheries to bottom habitats, understanding ecological and economic effects of fishing, minimizing the adverse effects of fishing and much more.

Conference sponsors include NOAA, the American Fisheries Society, Ecological Society of America, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat.

To learn more about NOAA Fisheries, please visit:

To learn more about the Symposium on the Effects of Fishing Activities on Benthic Habitats: Linking Geology, Biology, Socioeconomic and Management, visit the Web site at: