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Anchor and chain scour as disturbance agents in benthic environments: trends in the literature and charting a course to more sustainable boating and shipping

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Millions of recreational boats and ~ 65,000 ocean-going merchant ships anchor routinely. Anchor and chain scour associated with these vessels mechanically disturb the seabed having implications for marine environments globally. Our review summarises the scientific literature that examines the response of biota to anchor scour across five habitats; unvegetated sediments; seagrass; rhodolith beds; coral and rocky reefs. Forty-one studies met our criteria with >85% of articles targeting recreational-based disturbances, mostly focussed on seagrass. Investigations of anchor scour from ships comes almost exclusively from cruise ships anchoring on coral reef. All research examined reported biota responding negatively to anchor scour, either directly or indirectly. Effects to biota were dependent on the spatio-temporal scale of the perturbation or the life-histories of the organisms impacted. We highlight several key knowledge gaps requiring urgent investigation and suggest a range of management strategies to work towards sustainable anchoring practices and the preservation of valuable seabed environments.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Broad, A., Rees, M. J., & Davis, A. R. (2020). Anchor and chain scour as disturbance agents in benthic environments: trends in the literature and charting a course to more sustainable boating and shipping. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 161. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111683

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85092078182

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


  • 161

Abstract


  • Millions of recreational boats and ~ 65,000 ocean-going merchant ships anchor routinely. Anchor and chain scour associated with these vessels mechanically disturb the seabed having implications for marine environments globally. Our review summarises the scientific literature that examines the response of biota to anchor scour across five habitats; unvegetated sediments; seagrass; rhodolith beds; coral and rocky reefs. Forty-one studies met our criteria with >85% of articles targeting recreational-based disturbances, mostly focussed on seagrass. Investigations of anchor scour from ships comes almost exclusively from cruise ships anchoring on coral reef. All research examined reported biota responding negatively to anchor scour, either directly or indirectly. Effects to biota were dependent on the spatio-temporal scale of the perturbation or the life-histories of the organisms impacted. We highlight several key knowledge gaps requiring urgent investigation and suggest a range of management strategies to work towards sustainable anchoring practices and the preservation of valuable seabed environments.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Broad, A., Rees, M. J., & Davis, A. R. (2020). Anchor and chain scour as disturbance agents in benthic environments: trends in the literature and charting a course to more sustainable boating and shipping. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 161. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111683

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85092078182

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


  • 161