Scientia Marina, Vol 79, No 4 (2015)

Characterizing the complexity of the fleet dynamics for an effective fisheries management: The case of the Cíes Islands (NW Spain)

Rosana Ouréns
Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University , United States

Giulia Cambiè
School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University , United Kingdom

Juan Freire


We analysed the fishing fleet dynamics in the Cíes Islands, located in a National Land-Marine Park of Galicia. By interviewing fishers we identified the fleet fishing in the study area and obtained temporal data on effort and catch. Then we performed multivariate analyses of the catch profiles to identify the fishing strategies and their temporal dynamics. Our results highlight the complexity of the fishery system, composed of 565 boats that used 19 fishing gears and 33 strategies in an area of 26.6 km2. Octopus and velvet crab pots, gillnets targeting hake, trammel nets targeting European spider crab or ballan wrasse, clam rakes, and hand harvesting of gooseneck barnacles and razor shells are the strategies most used. In addition, most of the boats are generalists and use up to seven different fishing strategies throughout the year. This flexibility of the fleet to change the target species generates a wide diversity of annual fishing patterns that increases the complexity of the fisheries and the difficulty of managing them. The implementation of data collection programmes that include fleet dynamics and spatial data are key factors for developing effective management regulations consistent with the complexity of the system.


small-scale fisheries; fishing strategies; fleet dynamics; fishing effort; Galicia

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