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Examining Mid-Atlantic Ocean Shipwrecks and Commercial Fish Trawling & Dredging

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joyce Steinmetz (Creator)
Institution
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/

Abstract: This study examines the major site formation processes of commercial fish trawling and dredging impacts on mid-Atlantic ocean shipwrecks. Exploring this human-related interaction requires multi-disciplinary sources, including historical archival research, maritime archaeologists, fisheries, and sanctuary management. Non-traditional sources include fishermen who experience damage to their gear and divers who observe gear impact damage to shipwrecks.   From statistical database analysis, shipwreck case studies, and fishing community interviews, this thesis demonstrates that 1) commercial trawl nets and dredges damage shipwrecks and 2) shipwrecks negatively affect commercial fishing. From a 52-case sample, 69% of mid-Atlantic shipwrecks have 1 to 5 derelict trawl nets or scallop dredges on site. Derelict scallop dredge presence on shipwrecks markedly increased near and in scallop marine protected areas. Wooden wrecks may not survive impacts of towed scallop and clam dredges. Millions of dollars of commercial trawl nets and scallop dredges continue to be lost each year on the U.S. East Coast.  Commercial trawling and dredging is an archaeological site formation process with three modes: depositional, scrambling, and extraction. This study presents factual awareness and lays the foundation to formulate realistic, economically viable, and motivational proposals to safeguard commercial fishing gear and non-renewable underwater cultural resources.  

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Date: 2010

This item references:

TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
Examining Mid-Atlantic Ocean Shipwrecks and Commercial Fish Trawling & Dredginghttp://thescholarship.ecu.edu/bitstream/handle/10342/3192/Steinmetz_ecu_0600M_10308.pdfThe described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.