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Assesing fishing and marine biodiversity changes using fishers' perceptions : the Spanish Mediterranean and Gulf of Cadiz case study

  • Coll, Marta
  • Carreras, M.
  • Ciercoles, C.
  • Cornax, M.J.
  • Gorelli, G.
  • Morote, E.
  • Sàez, R.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Horizon / Pleins textes
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Principal Findings : According to fishers, fishing activity substantially evolved in the area with time, expanding towards deeper grounds and towards areas more distant from the coast. The maximum amount of catch ever caught and the weight of the largest species ever captured inversely declined with time. Fishers (70%) cited specific fishing grounds where depletion occurred. They documented ecological changes of marine biodiversity during the last half of the century: 94% reported the decline of commercially important fish and invertebrates and 61% listed species that could have been extirpated, with frequent mentions to cartilaginous fish. Declines and extirpations were in line with available quantitative evaluations from stock assessments and international conventions, and were likely linked to fishing impacts. Conversely, half of interviewed fishers claimed that several species had proliferated, such as cephalopods, jellyfish, and small-sized fish. These changes were likely related to trophic cascades due to fishing and due to climate change effects. The species composition of depletions, local extinctions and proliferations showed differences by region suggesting that regional dynamics are important when analysing biodiversity changes.

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