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Scientists Examine Sea Floor to See Effects of Bottom Trawling

A group of researchers is hoping that data collected from the Gulf of Alaska’s sea floor will shed new light on the effects of bottom trawling.

Scientists from the conservation group Oceana, which is based in Juneau, spent eight days aboard a research vessel circumnavigating the Kodiak archipelago late May. Jon Warrenchuck is a senior scientist and fisheries campaign manager with Oceana.

“The Gulf of Alaska is a very special place and a very productive ecosystem,” Warrenchuck said. “Our timing of our survey here in the spring means we saw just an abundance of life, from the phytoplankton to the fish to the birds feeding at the surface.”

The focus of the trip, though, was to document life at the very bottom of the sea to better understand the impacts of commercial trawling, Warrenchuck said.

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