Scientia Marina, Vol 76, No 3 (2012)

A small-scale fishery near a rocky littoral marine reserve in the northwestern Mediterranean (Medes Islands) after two decades of fishing prohibition

Paloma Martín
Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Spain

Francesc Maynou
Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Spain

Vanessa Stelzenmüller
Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (vTI), Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, Germany

Miquel Sacanell
Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (vTI), Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, Germany


Fishing in the Medes Islands Marine Reserve (511 ha, including a no-take zone and a buffer area) was prohibited in 1983. This study is the result of a 2.5-year monitoring program (sampling on board fishing boats from June 2003 to December 2005) aimed at characterizing the small-scale fishing carried out near the reserve. A total of 109 species were identified. The various métiers in use with the fishing gears trammel net, longline and gillnet were identified on the basis of the landing profiles. The main fishing target species included striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus), common sole (Solea solea), gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis), common pandora (Pagellus erythrinus), seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas) and hake (Merluccius merluccius). Most of the catches consisted of mature individuals and discards were very low or nil. The exception was Palinurus elephas, with catches made up mostly of juveniles. The estimated stock parameters for Mullus surmuletus, Pagellus erythrinus, Sparus aurata and Scorpaena porcus (Lc mean catch length; Lopt length at maximum yield per recruit; Y/Rc; Y/Rmax; Y/R at F(0.1), Y/R(0.1)) and the distributions of the exploited sizes, with presence of very large individuals, suggest a situation of low fishing pressure.


small-scale fishery; métier; NW Mediterranean; marine reserve; Medes Islands

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