Articles | Volume 21, issue 10
Research article
28 May 2024
Research article |  | 28 May 2024

Quantification and mitigation of bottom-trawling impacts on sedimentary organic carbon stocks in the North Sea

Lucas Porz, Wenyan Zhang, Nils Christiansen, Jan Kossack, Ute Daewel, and Corinna Schrum


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Short summary
Seafloor sediments store a large amount of carbon, helping to naturally regulate Earth's climate. If disturbed, some sediment particles can turn into CO2, but this effect is not well understood. Using computer simulations, we found that bottom-contacting fishing gears release about 1 million tons of CO2 per year in the North Sea, one of the most heavily fished regions globally. We show how protecting certain areas could reduce these emissions while also benefitting seafloor-living animals.
Final-revised paper