Scientia Marina, Forthcoming Articles

Spatio-temporal trends in diversity of demersal fish assemblages in the Mediterranean


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.04977.13A

M. Teresa Farriols
Intituto Español de Oceanografía, Centre Oceanogràfic de les Balears, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7704-6504

Francesc Ordines
Intituto Español de Oceanografía, Centre Oceanogràfic de les Balears, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2456-2214

Pierluigi Carbonara
COISPA Tecnologia and Ricerca, Stazione Sperimentale per lo Studio delle Risorse del Mare, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2529-2535

Loredana Casciaro
COISPA Tecnologia and Ricerca, Stazione Sperimentale per lo Studio delle Risorse del Mare, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4876-9874

Manfredi Di Lorenzo
CNR-IAMC, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3786-5772

Antonio Esteban
Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Centro Oceanográfico de Murcia, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2896-7972

Cristina Follesa
Dipartimento di Biologia Animale ed Ecologia, Università di Cagliari, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8320-9974

Cristina García-Ruiz
Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Centro Oceanográfico de Málaga, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2767-4200

Igor Isajlovic
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries Split, Croatia
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7101-9575

Angélique Jadaud
Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (Ifremer), UMR 212 Ecosystèmes Marins Exploités (EME), Centre de Recherche halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale, France
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6858-3570

Alessandro Ligas
Centro Interuniversitario di Biologia Marina ed Ecologia Applicata, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1036-3553

Chiara Manfredi
Laboratorio di Biologia Marina e Pesca di Fano, Dip.to B.E.S., Università di Bologna, Italy
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2852-4856

Bojan Marceta
Fishery Research Institute of Slovenia, Slovenia
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8137-4474

Panagiota Peristeraki
Hellenic Center for Marine Research - University of Crete, Biology Department, Greece
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8608-078X

Nedo Vrgoc
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Croatia
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5208-4512

Enric Massutí
Intituto Español de Oceanografía, Centre Oceanogràfic de les Balears, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9524-5873

Abstract


The high species richness, coupled with high proportion of endemism, makes the Mediterranean one of the world’s ‘biodiversity hotspots’. However, the continuous increase in fisheries in the last few decades has led to the overexploitation of their main commercial stocks. Using fishery-independent data collected under the framework of the MEDITS trawl surveys carried out over the last 20 years, we study the demersal fish diversity pattern in the Mediterranean at a large spatial and temporal scale to determine whether it is being affected by the general fishing overexploitation of the demersal resources. The detected diversity trends are compared with the spatio-temporal variation in bottom trawl fishing effort in the Mediterranean. Our results show a stability and even recovery of demersal fish diversity in the Mediterranean together with higher diversity values on the continental shelves of the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Sicily and the Aegean Sea. At large temporal and spatial scales, the high diversity of demersal assemblages in the Mediterranean is associated with a reduction in bottom trawl fishing effort. The inclusion of species other than target ones through diversity indices is important in the implementation of an ecosystem-based fisheries management.

Keywords


biodiversity; fish assemblages; MEDITS; bottom trawling; fishing effort; Mediterranean Sea

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