Source: Fisheries Research, Volume 169, Pages 26 – 36 SEP 2015 (Available online 17 May 2015)
Brief summary of the paper: Defining the geographic extent of suitable fishing grounds at a scale relevant to resource exploitation for commercial benthic species can be problematic. Bathymetric light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems provide an opportunity to enhance ecosystem-based fisheries management strategies for coastally distributed benthic fisheries.
In this study we define the spatial extent of suitable fishing grounds for the blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra) along 200 linear kilometers of coastal waters for the first time, demonstrating the potential for integration of remotely-sensed data with commercial catch information.
Variables representing seafloor structure, generated from airborne bathymetric LiDAR were combined with spatially-explicit fishing event data, to characterize the geographic footprint of the western Victorian abalone fishery, in south-east Australia. A MaxEnt modeling approach determined that bathymetry, rugosity and complexity were the three most important predictors in defining suitable fishing grounds (AUC = 0.89).
Suitable fishing grounds predicted by the model showed a good relationship with catch statistics within each sub-zone of the fishery, suggesting that model outputs may be a useful surrogate for potential catch.