Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 45(1): 31-38, doi: 10.3750/AIP2015.45.1.04
Can restrictions in Mediterranean artisanal fisheries be beneficial for target species?
expand article infoI. Bušelić, N. Stagličić, J. Lloret, S. Matić-Skoko
Open Access
Background. Marine protected areas (MPAs) with partial fishing restrictions are socially more acceptable, but their ecological effectiveness has largely not been assessed. The effects of establishing partial reserves on a target species, forkbeard, Phycis phycis (Linnaeus, 1766), were assessed in MPAs in the Mediterranean: Cap de Creus (Spain) and Lastovo (Croatia). Materials and methods. In this study, we performed separate statistical analyses based on measurements of length and age for 381 forkbeard from Cap de Creus (2008– 2011) and 739 forkbeard from Lastovo Islands (2010– 2012) as indicators of fishing effects on target fish populations. Results. The establishment of partial reserves in both MPAs, with different regulations imposed on professional and recreational fishing has not proven successful in achieving benefits for a sedentary, relatively long-lived target species such as Phycis phycis. Results of multi-annual research indicate no significant difference in the abundance, mean size, or age of P. phycis between the fishing zones of different protection levels in either of the studied MPAs. Conclusion. In order to achieve the desired benefits for coastal fisheries resources, we recommend that partial fishing reserves are supplemented with integrated networks of no-take zones.
small-scale fisheries, reserve effect, marine protected area, Mediterranean Sea, partial protection, Phycis phycis, forkbeard