Screenshot from online mapping tool

Mapping tool: The seafloor footprint of Danish fishing

Where and how often do Danish fishermen fish with bottom-towed gears? The answer to that can be found in the mapping tool “The seafloor footprint of Danish fishing”, which DTU Aqua has developed.

What can the tool be used for?

The interactive mapping tool “The seafloor footprint of Danish fishing” shows the distribution and intensity of the fishing activity by Danish fishing vessels that use various bottom-towed fishing gears. 

This information could serve as a shared knowledge base for all kinds of marine policy and management issues, ranging from fishing impact assessments to marine spatial planning.

The spatial resolution of the mapping tool is more than 1000 times higher than that of standard fisheries distribution maps, making the results more accurate.

Whom is the tool aimed at?

The mapping tool is primarily aimed at professionals with expertise in fisheries and the marine environment working at authorities, businesses, interest organizations, or knowledge and teaching institutions.

What does the tool contain?

The mapping tool generates maps and tables that indicate where Danish fishing activities with bottom-towed gears take place, and how often. Users can select the geographical area, the type of fishing gear, and the years of interest. 

The information can be displayed at different geographical levels, from large sea areas to small, distinct areas such as specific Natura 2000 sites, offshore wind farm locations, other protected areas, and any future areas that are proposed to be closed to fishing, etc.

The user can select specific fisheries, e.g. fishing with mussel dredges or otter trawling for Norway lobsters as well as different years and periods from 2012-2020.

How is data displayed?

The mapping tool returns two types of results for the selected area, fishery, and period:

  • a map showing the spatial extent and intensity of the Danish fishing activity.
  • a table presenting numerical values of the spatial extent and intensity of the Danish fishing activity.

Where to find the tool?

Go to the mapping tool “The seafloor footprint of Danish fishing” 

User Manual

Find a guide on how to retrieve and use the data

Reservations and limitations

Learn about reservations and limitations of the data


See examples of using the mapping tool


The development of the mapping tool has been financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Danish Fisheries Agency in the project “Dansk Fisker-Forsker Netværk 3”, which is a coperation between DTU Aqua and Danish Fishermen PO.




Areas covered by the tool

Fisheries covered by the tool

Gears and fisheries covered by the mapping tool: 

Otter trawls

  • Norway lobster
  • Deep-water prawn
  • Norway pout
  • Demersal fish
  • Sandeel
  • Small pelagics

Beam trawls

  • Brown shrimps
  • Demersal fish

Demersal seines

  • Anchor/Danish seine
  • Scottish seine/fly dragging



Ole Ritzau Eigaard
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 66