Scientia Marina, Vol 80, No 1 (2016)

Spatio-temporal variability of discards in the fishery of the deep-sea red shrimp Aristeus antennatus in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea: implications for management

Giulia Gorelli
Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC , Spain

Marta Blanco
Facultad de Biología, Universitat de Barcelona , Spain

Francesc Sardà
Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC , Spain

Marta Carretón
Facultad de Biología, Universitat de Barcelona , Spain

Joan B. Company
Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC , Spain


In this work we analysed the spatio-temporal variability of discards in the fishery of the deep-sea red shrimp Aristeus antennatus in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. We sampled fishery discards in the fishing grounds of Palamós (the main harbour for this fishery on the Catalan margin), which are located in several areas of a submarine canyon. We found that the discard ratio in this fishery showed a marked seasonal variability, with a maximum in spring and a minimum in summer. Most of the discarded biomass (almost 96%) were of species with no commercial interest. Within these, the most represented group was elasmobranchs, making up to more than 50% of total discarded biomass. Our findings show that the landing obligation established by the EU will have a low impact in mitigating discards in this fishery, as the vast majority of discards are non-commercial species that are not specified in the regulation. Alternative management strategies, such as a temporary fishery closure in spring (when the discard ratio reaches its maximum), should be considered in order to preserve the vulnerable ecosystem hosted by the submarine canyon.


Northwestern Mediterranean; trawl fishery; fishery discards; fisheries impact; deep-sea; Aristeus antennatus

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