The impacts of shoreline species collection



Three ‘quick reference’ summary tables introduce this section. The first two outline the potential causes of impact or conflict with nature conservation interests and other coastal users arising from intertidal species collection, and the potential for mitigation of these effects. The third illustrates the potential severity of the impacts or conflicts caused by various methods of shoreline species collection on a range of environmental features and the activities of other user groups.

The summaries presented in these tables have been drawn from a detailed review of the impacts of the collection of shoreline species presented in the following pages. These describe the impacts of the most widespread collection methods for common shoreline species on the target species, non-target species, intertidal habitats, and other shoreline users; present opportunities for mitigation, and highlight shortfalls in knowledge. A tabulated literature review (see Appendix) provides details of relevant publications and other sources of information, and brief summaries of their contents.

There is a tendency for published research and unpublished reports on the impacts of bait collection activity to report significant detrimental effects. The reasons for this are that studies reviewing the impacts of bait collection are usually only commissioned in locations where a ‘problem’ had been identified, possibly with an aim to determining whether management was required to mitigate the effect. Such studies are most unlikely to be undertaken in locations where there is no perception of damage being caused by bait collection. Similarly, research is usually published when it has identified ‘significant’ (in the statistical sense) results during analysis of field data. Readers should, therefore, note that there is much less published information on studies that have shown no significant effects on wildlife caused by bait digging.

Several of the issues identified and mitigation possibilities suggested in the Tables A and B may potentially result in the management of intertidal species collection. Management options available range from the promotion of voluntary codes of conduct or bag limits, to permits and licensing systems, zonation of activities, or complete closure of areas to collection. These are summarised in Table C.

Scale of bait collection activity

Availability of bait supplies

Hand digging

Bait pumping

Hand picking

Provision of crab shelters

Bait dragging

Worm dredging