National Benthis

Project: Research


Research outputs

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Main research question/goal

This project aims at a correct assessment of seabed impacts of Belgian fishing métiers in an international framework. The project will create the science-industry interface to allow the Belgian fishing industry to follow-up on european developments in asessing seabed impacts.

Research approach

WP 1: Estimation of the footprint and benthic sensitivity of Belgian fisheries in relevant fishing grounds. Application of fishery Benthic Impact Tool (FBIT) to Belgian fisheries.

WP 2: Evaluation of the application of the FBIT tool (i) to indicate where Belgian fisheries do and do not compromise the Good Environmental Status (GES) and (ii) to assess the impact of management options on the economic importance of fishing grounds

Both WPs are supported by WP3 (stakeholder participation) and WP4 (international fora) to enable Belgian fisheries and its stakeholders to closely follow the European initiatives in research, advice and management of fishing impacts on the seabed.


Belgian fisheries management aims at increasing the sustainability of its fisheries, which requires assessing its seabed impacts. The EU BENTHIS-project has mapped the sensitivity of several seabed types for a range of fishing methods. The operationalization of the indicators developed in Benthis are now being investigated by ICES and OSPAR for implementation in EU policy. The procedure for operationalization will be compiled in one tool (Fishery benthic impact tool (FBIT)). the 'Benthis-nationaal' project will follow-up on these developments and apply the procedure in a national context.

Funding provider(s)
Effective start/end date1/04/1831/12/20

ID: 6685668